Gone before the heat each day
the partner I had followed to this land of Spinifex and snakes
leaving me alone
My daughter, Stephanie Burns, painted this picture from her memories of our life in north-west WA. To see more of her art and fabrics go to http://artasfabric.com
with my babies
aged one and three.
the town not yet reality
no shop, no school
an alcoholic doctor
the airport down the track—an hour’s drive.
I had no car but where could I go
even if that wasn’t so?
To shark infested waters, holding two little hands?
Across a wasteland of bushes uniformly stunted?
To the caravan park
where filth, depression
and language hurled at children made me shrink.
Word from the south was flown up
with grader parts and other vital stuff.
Food and clothes came fortnightly by truck.
Radio was rarely heard
television never seen
no strains of Mozart
no scent of flowers, twitter of birds
trees or shade or anything to feed the soul.
In that pindan-covered camp
no-one felt or thought like me.
Afraid of losing little ones
curious to explore that never ending sameness
each day confined within my arms-width space
sheltering from flies and sun that fried the brain
I lived inside my head.