Judith Wright

(1915 - 2000 / New South Wales / Australia)

To a Child


When I was a child I saw
a burning bird in a tree.
I see became I am,
I am became I see.

In winter dawns of frost
the lamp swung in my hand.
The battered moon on the slope
lay like a dune of sand;

and in the trap at my feet
the rabbit leapt and prayed,
weeping blood, and crouched
when the light shone on the blade.

The sudden sun lit up
the webs from wire to wire;
the white webs, the white dew,
blazed with a holy fire.

Flame of light in the dew,
flame of blood on the bush
answered the whirling sun
and the voice of the early thrush.

I think of this for you.
I would not have you believe
the world is empty of truth
or that men must grieve,

but hear the song of the martyrs
out of a bush of fire-
'All is consumed with love;
all is renewed with desire.'

Submitted: Saturday, March 27, 2010

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