Parents wait at the gate for the cages to be opened
and the flock,
bright as grass parrots in their green and yellow,
to come flying out.
Hands are held across the road:
look right, look left,
look right again –
walk straight across, don’t run!
Arms wave and voices call
from backseats of utes and dusty wagons –
See you Monday!
The remainder crowd into the bakery,
emptying the glass display case
of lamingtons, meringues
and bread-sticks powdered with cinnamon sugar.
Quickly finished, no trace but a dozen sticky faces,
Can we go to the park?
Under such a blue sky,
there is no reason compelling enough to say no…
Beneath the plane trees
they gather the fallen leaves,
brown and brittle,
and pile them, higher and higher,
pausing to measure against the smallest child.
When at last it is deemed high enough,
Just five more minutes!
I need to get home and put dinner on!
they leap, and the pile explodes
into a cloud of leaves and laughter.