Road Cleaners

Crows are loudest now,
with season’s change,
diligently pursuing
their allotted province.

Anthracite voices
wake us pre dawn,
caa-ing a pressing need
to do business.

Hot afternoons see
these dedicated cleaners,
obsidian eyes alert,
spark blue-black life in the sun
while other birds rest.

Assured of steady trade
this drought year,
nature’s undertakers
dice with traffic,
a feather’s width from death.

Barely bothering to move
they plough the air,
cumbersome with health,
sated on road-kill –
kangaroos seeking fresh shoots.

They resume their positions
with panache and,
dressed in immaculate mourning,
share food crumbs
with their lower helpers.

Adroit and opportunistic,
rarely prey,
these bush survivors flourish,
unaware they carry
my admiration with them.
By Frances McKay


Copyright © – Frances Mackay 2004