04 April 2008

Queensland Floods

Watching waters rise relentlessly
between the banks; the skies are
clear, its weeks since rains began –

they ceased back when and life
returned but here a mass of water
gathers where the eye can see. In

one bleak span a flood begins. A
team in coveralls, the orange SES,
all volunteers, parade the streets,

marking where the flood will burst
the banks and run replete. We
watch amused – we’ve seen the

puny ramparts dashed before.
But here and now the fear is fed
with levees built from polythene

and palettes stacked to keep the
waters from our homes. Saw it all
before in ’54, one owner says, she

stands atop a tall Queenslander
balcony, an older home – foresees
we’ll all be clear and free for sure.

But I’ll need a borrowed boat she
claims, to fetch me to the Church
to thank the Lord for all this rain.
© 5 February 2008, I. D. Carswell