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Gift
by Erina Booker

There it was
among the ruffled violets,
a little head
with black beady eyes
prominent within surrounding
white feathers

I drew back behind
the wall so as not
to frighten it, then
slowly moved forwards
approached, and
crouched down level
with it, this injured
chick, this Sacred Kingfisher
cushioned in the flowers

my favourite bird had known
exactly where to land

I picked it up and
stroked its back, it was
content in the cup
of my hand, but so as
not to overheat it
I placed it in a cardboard box
lined with a towel of its own
colour: essential Teal Blue

Wildlife Rescue collected it
healed it and released it
into its homeland bushland

it stays with me, this
piece of my heart,
this piece of the rainbow
snapped off between
Blue and Green,
this gem of joy
this pleasure,
treasure
this bird which bloomed
in my garden.

©Erina Booker

PHOTO: Kingfisher by Ralph Klein.

Sacred kingfisher chick

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have always adored kingfishers. Chance sightings of them always give me a profound sense of great fortune. I am stunned when I see one, and the world stops while I watch. Paintings, prints, and a weaving of kingfishers adorn two walls in my lounge room. To have had a Sacred Kingfisher chick land in my garden was a supreme highlight of my life. I have rescued many birds and chicks, over time, but to rescue a kingfisher chick was a pinnacle event. The subject of this Series, ONE GOOD MEMORY, was the perfect opportunity to write this poem.

PHOTO: Sacred Kingfisher chick by Erina Booker.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erina Booker is a poet based in Sydney, Australia. Her life revolves around poetry, from publishing books, contributing to journals and anthologies, as well as editing. Her work has appeared in many journals, including those that publish the Japanese forms of haiku and tanka. Erina regularly recites her poetry at public events and enjoys conducting seminars. She contributes ekphrastic poems to art galleries, works regularly with artists and craftspeople, and actively supports poetry within her local community. Her work can be found on Amazon, Lulu Press, and InHouse Publishing. Her qualifications include a major in Literature within her Bachelor of Arts degree and a Post-graduate degree in Counseling. Erina knows the value of words and the pauses between them.