AURORA | Goddess of Morning
Protector of childbirth. Often portrayed in Roman art as a young woman with wings like the dawn sky. She killed her own son in a jealous rage.
from Images of Women in Roman Art, by Phoebe Wharton
You are not a firebug. If you killed anyone, I’d know. I know you. All those hours with your warm infant self damp against my shoulder, all that time cooking vegetables in ways you ate only once, all those afternoons cheering your team to football losses, frustrated over incomplete homework, holding you while you cried over grazed knees or the unkindness of schoolgirls – our shared umbilical cord must have left a residual connection, a spiritual navel. No one could be more sure of anything than me, of this. You are not a firebug.
Your committal hearing starts tomorrow. Of course I can’t sleep. I lie here, now and then reaching for my notebook or getting up to pace through the house. Like a trial, every bushfire tells a story. Every bushfire has a beginning, a middle, an end. A year ago, smoke from the Brunton fire twisted around our window frames, slid under the door, forced its fingers through keyholes. I’ve been unable to keep the outside world out since then. Fire didn’t destroy our home, but the rumours that came afterwards did. Attacks continue whenever I check my email or the news. Your lawyer says it isn’t wise for us to begin your defence yet. But I must defend you, get my thoughts in order. Every fire has a beginning, but not every fire is begun by an arsonist. Every trial has an ending, not every ending is just.