The Dry

by Merlene Fawdry

that last drought year
the big thirst
drained her dams,
and feed turned to dust
beneath feet of hungry beasts
their cries ghosting the night
as she held her child,
heat exhausted,
in arms slippery with sweat
eyes dry in the futile grief
that augurs death,
seeing in her waking moments,
and nightmarish sleep,
a lasting image
of her husband’s defeat
the tree, the rope,
the last dance, solo
she watched the sun
bleach her dreams
draining colour from her life
as paint peeled and iron rusted
and wind blew, ceaseless
willy willies in search of rest
catching her up
before laying her down
in a country graveyard
where three crosses
now form a monochrome montage
on an ochred landscape

Merlene Fawdry lives in rural Victoria, Australia. She enjoys the diversity of writing poetry, nonfiction and fiction and provides an editing, manuscript preparation and mentoring service for other writers. She has a strong interest in social justice and is committed to giving a voice to the oppressed through her writing. Born and raised in Tasmania, formerly Van Diemen's Land, established as a penal settlement for convicts transported from Britain between 1803 and 1853, has fed Merlene's interest in biography and family history, tracing family lines back to their country of origin and writing the stories of the original unfortunates.


Like an Irish Dirge, so poignant and lovely and sad. Thank you
Cynthia Low, May 17, 2014