To thirsty to let drip

Rainwater is so precious to the outback of Australia, for years I remember the sight of rainwater tanks across the outback in all different shapes and sizes

To thirst to let drip

Corrugated iron rainwater tanks
Stood dotted on crazy stands
The burning sun peeling paint
That covered the bare iron

The desert sand glares white hot
To the penetrating eye, tinder hot to touch
A lid shaped like a China mans hat
Taps all bent and funny, to hot to touch
A drip that dripped all night
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Right by the back door
Sat our rainwater tank
Such a convenient icon
Where most things would fail
Be careful a lovely cool spot for snakes
And rabbit used to burrow, mice crawl in
From everywhere and fall to their death
Gum leaves fall through the hole and sink to the bottom
Possums well that’s another story, they fall in and die
Wasps makes their nest
My memory of corrugated iron rainwater tanks
All but a memory to know
I see them rising once again
Anxiously we all looked to the sky
Searching for clouds, heavy with rain
We hear the hollow heavy rain drops
Falling like a drum, on the tinder hot ground

Afraid of the tinder hot days to come
Mother would sit by the shade of the pepper tree
Searching the sky for rain cloud, laden heavy with water
She prayed for rain non- stop, as the water had fallen so low
Water so precious, we never wasted a drop

No water for washing
Baked crisp lands
Our only hope was for our lowly spring
Water started running slower than ever
No joy to be felt
Tap the tank, a hollow memory, rings
Drought and doom, no water left
The tanks gone dry again
Our home in gloom till it rains again
No time for sadness
Joy fills our heart
Dark clouds fill the outback
Bountiful rain, falls
The tank is singing as it rains
The down pipe rattles with water droplets
We fill the tank again
Riches are falling from the sky
Mother had a smile on her face
Sitting under the pepper tree
Life was good again
We even washed behind our ears


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