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The Utterances of a Child

By Cassandra O’Loughlin
                       for my granddaughter Claire


Surely the song-larks on the Hay plains heard your call
on the landline, and the birds in the atolls of light
on the Murray. The bright-eyed quolls would have stopped
to listen in the mountain’s deep-scented shade.
Certainly the koel in the fig would know it was you,
and the restless boobook that twirls curlicues in the fog.
Your voice sends out light from every syllable, every vowel
and consonant . . . there is no one who can explain this.
Rain falls on my face, on my hands, as I wait for your next call.
The household words gathered in your four years are sweet
raspberries at my breakfast table, wrens on my pillow.