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Kelly Williamson
My Muse

21 July 2020

My muse is capricious
She taunts me from sleep
In the pre-dawn hour
Where the what-ifs creep

What if they’d had some warning?
What if there was water that morning?
What if there was no back burning?
What if, instead, there was listening and learning?
What if they were on their own?
What if there was time for things from our home?

What if the RFS was there?
What if there was someone to care?
What if someone had looked?
What if there were resources, not elsewhere booked?
What if they’d seen it, not yet lost?
What if there was not the terrible cost?
What if they’d used the abundant tank water?
What if I’d stayed to help, like a good daughter?

What if they’d stayed to fight?
What if they’d not made it through?


You know what my muse?
I don’t always like you.

Our last day of summer

27 February 2020

The rusted roof metal creaks
Moving in the afternoon breeze
The salty sea air and flooding rains have taken their toll on what’s left
I help my parents search the remaining rubble
For one last item, one last treasure one last unfound miracle
Tomorrow it will go
I brought my children this time
For a while this was their home too
A chance to see, to grieve
To understand the loss
Of peace, of safety, of home
Their tears are hard watch, I share their pain, they are not alone
They had seen the photos, the news, the videos
But nothing really prepares you for the sight, the smell, the sound
In the weeks since I was last here
The land shows signs of healing
Some green, some growth, some recovery
It’s a welcome sight to see
But it stands in contrast to the death, the lost things that won’t recover, can’t recover, can’t regrow
Like the house, the beloved gardens or the sense of security that was ‘before’
The new growth seems almost obscene somehow and after a while I turn away
Our time at the house is short
Small amounts, that’s all anyone can manage
The task of rebuilding is overwhelming
Much like the sense of loss
One foot goes in front of the other
It has to. There is no other way
The clear lake is a welcome sight
Flowing freely to the ocean
The walk along the shore and
Icecream on the way home
Welcome echoes of ‘before’
For our last day of summer

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