Lunchtime in Sydney

Lunchtime in Sydney:
Scavenging Myna Birds

All those voices clattering
in the enclosed space like
Chinese diners at dim sum
lunch in Hong Kong, Australian
office workers crammed into
a yellow tiled basement food
hall picking at their selections
from plastic containers that
they’ve purchased from
the Chinese/Malysian stall
or Indian or Earthfood, crunchy
feed to energize them for
the afternoon of work ahead,
but I am returning to visit family;
I don’t have to tolerate this cacophony of squawking ducksound so I seek a quieter venue I recall across the street where myna birds peck at leftovers with their orange beaks. I sit outside with them after purchasing my pumpkin in coconut milk and Thai tofu from a stall for A $9.50.
Two blue-plaid uniformed high
school girls ask if they can share
my table, the three of us companionable as if we shared the same branch; there are brown faces with features I don’t recognize and today I am not returning to an office so I can sit here, curious as the scavenging myna birds.

Jan Ball