After the flood
when the hiluxes have been dragged from the gullies
and the roads are cleared and open in town,
when the water is mopped from living rooms
and the ‘roos are drying along the roadsides
when the sheep are washed white as cotton wool
and the cockatoos are muddy as street urchins
when the gum-leaves glitter in the afternoon sun
and the water has fallen so that we can stride into the creek –
while the three-legged dog watches
(though we are hardly drovers’ wives),
we take our chainsaws,
and we clear the path
We got 80mm of rain in a few hours Thursday-week ago, which might not sound like a huge amount but with all the rain we’ve had recently the soil is saturated, the dams are full and there was nowhere for it to go. My neighbour was sending me texts on her way (trying to get) home of closed roads, vehicles large and small washed off and people being rescued. We live at the end of a dirt road past a creek crossing that floods a few times a year – and this time it was not only flooded, a tree had washed across it. She couldn’t get across until morning, when she waded across to where her three-legged dog was sitting in the cold waiting for her. I was home, but my family had stayed in Canberra to avoid the floods. In the afternoon, when the water had dropped enough, we each took a chainsaw and cleared the tree together. In the photo above you can see the “tide-line” just in front of the vehicle (well above the mud-line) where the water got to. Today we got another 40mm of rain, and it flooded again but nowhere near as high.
9 responses to “after the flood, chainsaws”
My sister is having a similar problem in Northern Rivers. It has been raining and flooding repeatedly for nearly two years (as I am sure you and everyone else in the nation knows). So much is out of control.
I hope she’s okay, and is staying safe, and hasn’t lost too much in the floods. 😦
We’re lucky to be high enough up and with swales put in to keep the water out of the house.
Another great poem for capturing the drama.
I was thinking of a U2 song, “beautiful day” which has the line “after the flood, all the colours came out”, but in our case it was chainsaws.
Great descriptions of the aftermath – ‘cockatoos are as muddy as street urchins’. The background and photo add to the impact – adverse weather events seem to be increasing everywhere.
Thanks Marion. 🙂
They do don’t they? Bushfires across the northern hemisphere, floods across the south… it’s scary.
It is – very!
Floods hit severely in Pakistan.
I saw that on the news here. I hope you and your family are safe.