Trails by Eva Johnson

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I once walked along the trails of my ancestors
through deserts, mountains, rivers and sands
where food was plenty,
where goanna tracks led to waterholes
where the bandicoot whistled its name.
I gathered nuts from the kurrajong tree
and suckled wild honey.
I swam with catfish in billabongs of waterlilies
and tasted cooked food from ovens underground.
I smelled the promise of the winds
along trails of the dreaming
and traced my mother’s footsteps embedded in the sand.

I once walked along the trails of my ancestors
that now have blown away with the winds of time.
Only in memory will I walk along the trails
Only in memory will they remain.

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

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