Peacocks by Kate Llewellyn

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On wet days

they hang on the verandah railing

like wet curtains

the peahens

become grey cushions

that fell in a river

 

but on dry days

celebration

shimmer and tremble

shake that castanet

the Spanish dance begins

 

up goes the opera set

raised as if a cord were pulled

or a child’s stand-up picture book

opened

 

their strong grey legs

strut and hawk this show

around the farm

from town to town

 

and the singing

so gruesome

it were best left to others

however

like Cinderella’s sister

no-one dares mention

such ugliness to them

while the little plain butcher bird

sings so ravishingly

sitting almost unnoticed on a post

 

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)

 

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