The Red Bridge
I know you’re here. I caught a glimpse of you before I looked down to check my step, making sure I didn’t trip on the time worn cobblestones beneath the entrance arch. Those eyes that always held a hint of mischief. That open, knowing smile. Every year in the month of ghosts, we’d journey to the Jade Mountain Temple at the end of the red bridge to celebrate your beloved grandparents, to make sure their spirits wouldn’t feel alone.
Now it’s just me who comes, to make sure you don’t feel alone.
I cross the gently curving bridge and enter the temple. The loss I feel is still raw, but lessens as I place my incense beside the other glowing red shards in the brass bowl, that sits atop legs shaped like dragons. I feel cocooned and peaceful, surrounded by the familiar low hum of others chanting and giving thanks to ancestors. As I kneel I feel your breath on my neck, hear your voice as it gently whispers, ‘It’s time now.’ I see your smile again and know you will be with me, always.
The Red Bridge © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
A Birthday Jamboree.
Upstairs in the bedroom Brolga puts on fancy threads. Downstairs in the kitchen Quokka butters fairy bread.
Tassie Devil squeezes lemons for his secret brew. At the door is Kookaburra letting in the crew.
Today is a special day. A party for a mate who is unique and very rare, and who they think is great.
Emu sets out all the games while cockatoo looks cool. Platypus is in his spot as lifeguard of the pool.
Wombat lays the tables, while Wallaby and roo are helping Numbat get things ready for the BBQ.
Bee is busy icing cakes. Possum adds the sprinkles.Lorikeet strings up the lights. Look at all those twinkles!
Dingo paces back and forth. ‘They should be here by now.’ ‘Worry not! She’s on her way,’ shrieks Magpie from her bough.
Echidna is the first to shout, ‘Quick hide! Here she comes!’ Everyone finds just the spot so no-one spoils the fun.
The doorbell rings. A quiet knock. Someone calls, ‘Hello?’ Koala smiles. ‘Come in,’ she says. Down the hall they go.
As they reach the yard out back the friends jump out, ‘Surprise!’ Penny Potoroo stops still. She can’t believe her eyes.
All the creatures gather ‘round. ‘Hip hip hooray!’ they shout. Penny wipes away the tear that’s trickled down her snout.
‘Is this for me?’ she asks amazed. ‘Of course!’ they cry with glee. ‘A birthday party Aussie style. A true-blue jamboree!’
DID YOU KNOW?
A Birthday Jamboree © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.