in a cage of non conformity she sits,
waits for the rain to pass, nods at
those who take the time to flick a smile
or toss a coin at her greasy hat.
she sings her songs to the breath of her roots,
honouring her ancestors by educating
those who changed her country.
there is a history here too deep to fathom
in a glance, but its echos sound
down the colonnade and into laneways
to fill the uninitiated with a yearning,
a dreaming of the old lands and times
when food was caught and eaten as a family
and the only real danger lay in not belonging.
her songs are a cry to the spirits that
inhabit us all, the long notes a thread
of connection to country. they speak to
the trees, to the grasses. to the rivers
and to the beasts, she sings to the shopgirls
and barboys and business owners,
to her auntys and uncles and brothers
and sisters and most of all
she sings to her mother.