After staring through the window of the emergency ward
where tissue of extinct and endangered plants
grows on shelves under fluorescent lights;
and examining the 10 000 vials suspended
in liquid nitrogen, those minute memoirs
of species frozen in Cryo storage;
I walk home through the park and try to get lost
along the terraces; find myself wandering
through the hakea and grevillea garden,
where I drown in the delicate scent of flowers,
and nectar eaters plunge into pistils and stamens.
I think of the courage of the scientist,
keeping the future for a thousand years
when a human may (or may not)
release those tiny meristems
suspended in minus 196 degrees Celsius
and plant them into whatever
the world has become.
Down along sandy bush track
a wattle bird's cry shatters my thoughts
into random letters and numbers.
The path spits me out into the blur of Mounts Bay Road
where combustion engines tear this way that way
demanding now, now, now.
by Nandi Chinna.