The breaking of the drought

Drought in Australia is a common event – as it is in the rest of the world. In parts.

But there is something about the Australian spirit that deals with it in a singular way. A poem.

 

In the morning we awoke

And looked, as we had done

Those three long years,

With little hope

And even littler faith,

Into the West

To see some sign of rain –

Some cloud perhaps –

A stirring in the wind.

The cattle were all gone.

The sheep dead long ago.

 

We carried water fifty miles

From Jackson’s bore

To keep ourselves

and two last horses

and the dog from going mad.

 

And there!

Just where the usual sharpness

Of the dead straight distant sky

Sat glaring

On the dead straight distant land

There was a darkness

And the lines were merged.

 

Billy saw it first and yelled into the house.

“Dad. Come and see it. Mum!

Come on it’s come!

The rain! It’s come!

Out by the ten mile well.

Come on Dad.

It’s come.

The rain!

It’s gonna bloody rain!”

 

And Mum, not wanting to be overcome

And not to cry in front of all us kids

Just looked at him and told him not to swear.

 

And then we ran around

And closed up all the doors

And shut the window in the tractor shed

And sat and waited for the rain to come.

 

 We waited all that day

Just looking at the clouds build up and

Waiting for the wind to rise

To bring the rain our way.

 

And then it rained.

 

A drop at first upon the iron roof.

And Billy did his rain dance once again

And got ticked off for swearing

Once again.

 

And then it poured. 

And poured for three long days.

And when in stopped the flat was two foot deep and

On the rise some green began to show.

 

But all this time Dad didn’t say a thing –

Just stood there all the while

And looked off miles away

And when I went to tell him lunch was on

He laid his hand

And roughed it on my head

And said “Thanks, son.

Tell Mum I’m on my way.”

11 thoughts on “The breaking of the drought

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