Judith Wright

(1915 - 2000 / New South Wales / Australia)

Turning Fifty


Having known war and peace
and loss and finding,
I drink my coffee and wait
for the sun to rise,

With kitchen swept, cat fed,
the day will quiet,
I taste my fifty years
here in the cup.

Outside the green birds come
for bread and water.
Their wings wait for the sun
to show their colours.

I'll show my colours too.
Though we've polluted
even this air I breathe
And spoiled green earth;

though, granted life or death,
death's what we're chosing,
and though these years we live
scar flesh and mind,

still, as the sun comes up
bearing my birthday,
having met time and love
I raise my cup -

dark, bitter, neutral, clean,
sober as the morning -
to all I've seen and known -
to this new sun.

Submitted: Saturday, March 27, 2010

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