The Breaking of the Drought

there is a certain feeling to the day
that something will happen

the air massing with no colour to the sky
sifting itself inside out in turmoil
but the cloud disperses
dissipating expectation

the sun is quick to return
stretches headstrong to the horizon
hard pressing its flat horror
the stunted scrub squeeze-dried

bent over double in submission
the ghost wrap of the winter crop
rattles its dead prayers to the wind
his harvester idle for the season

the long wait begins again
that endless wait for change
day after day of disciplined ritual
waiting for a break in the heavens

and in the tomorrow that never came
at dawn in the patched shadow
with the sky groping to contain itself
he walked to the back shed

a sudden, sharp crack-echo
the air shocked still,
and it is over –

too soon the family will find
and then the endless cry

Richard Scutter 11 November 2007

This poem was published in ‘Voices from the Valley’ the 2012 anthology of stories and verse by the Yass Valley Writers – 2012. It was written at the peak of the drought.

Your word in my ear ...

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