Anthony W. Pahl

WALK OF WAR

Oh Wattle and Ghost Gum, Mallee, Mulga and Huon Pine
Saltbush, Spinifex, River Red, Bottle brush
All you natives with roots that are Australian…
You are part of us; you are us…

You are the binding essence and aroma of Australia
You provided shade for us, when our country denied
You judged us not, when our countrymen did;
You provided a silent sentinel against those judgements.
You screamed not, when our countrymen did;
You provided a barrier from those screams… and for our screams.
You are Australia!

Shall you be used to represent our decades of death and dead?
Shall you be used to sate the demands of those shouting now as then?
Or shall you stand in silent witness with the blossoming Cherry Tree
As it graces foreign soil just as our blood graces a land across the sea?

Author’s Note: Written to support the battle against the movement to replace the Japanese Cherry Trees with Australian Native Trees in the Cherry Tree Walk Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Bowral, NSW