After the Fire Rolls Through

During its swell and roar
fire dominates devours depletes–
meat and marrow for nightmares.

Yet after its slaughter of koala and kangaroo
its landscape-charring blast
lomandra lime sprouts from blackened ground
themselves so like knee-high bonfires
flame trees laugh at the irony
of pushing out their flame-leaves
octopus tree propels its green from trunk–
the beginnings of its stiff magenta tentacles.

Eucalyptus trees begin again
dreaming of koala embraces
while grasslands raise themselves
blade by blade
anticipating the spread of kangaroo forepaws
the pressure of their pointed hind feet
each ending in an onyx barb.
Billy button and bottlebrush bolt from soil
to hear kookaburra chuckle and cassowary rumble.

One day fire will die and landscape–
forest grassland plain–
will consume ash and carcass

roar with leaf rustle and kangaroo competitions
while koalas the color of rain clouds
bespeckle trees.

t.m. thomson

t.m. thomson has been writing poetry since she was fourteen years old. She is the co-author of Frame and Mount the Sky (2017) and author of Strum and Lull (2019) and The Redheaded Stepchild. When she isn’t writing and reading poetry, she can be found feeding birds and stray cats and playing in the rain and mud under the guise of “gardening.”

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Ode to Butterflies