See How the Jacaranda Climbs

See How the Jacaranda Climbs

by Isabelle Quilty

I’m sorry, for how lonely it must be. Your roots suckle mud and concrete like fingers dip into honey. You dream of auburn swept skies, of lands of snow and fire carried on the wind. Your leaves are green and wide for all seasons, like a fat, flat tongue eager for the passion you can hear bleeding from the sidewalk. Careful now—the cement is constructed of the blandest daydreams. 

How many eggs are left in the fridge?

Is my car registration due soon?

Your bough is curious. It doesn’t turn its nose up at the surrounding mundane, but reaches aged limbs towards the azure blue in hopes to taste the memory of all. It is a lonesome tragedy—the sight of such beauty framed in mud, a Main Street, and an abandoned construction lot. 

How do you know how to piece together the fractured dream of the Australian pastoral? 

Do your roots go deeper than you can tell me?

Does memory travel in sweat, rain, and tears?

Perhaps the waters of the Snowy Mountain have come to you as droplets racing down your branches. Perhaps the thunder of Brumbies, their roaming past, echoes in your roots, and the passion of the Galah in its mid-morning song reverberates through generations of your bark. 

I wish for everyone that is used to the grey drab of cement to stop, even if just for a moment, to watch and see your beauty. To appreciate the glimpse of nature and memory standing in defiance against the backdrop of cranes and signal towers. 

I watch from the window, as I have for all the seasons, and I hope the city folk have come to see how you climb.


Featured in our July 2022 issue, "Ecology"