Our two nurses have driven off in their ambulance.
Someone assaulted a nurse in another town
fifty kilometres away, we are told.
Nurses, doctors, they’re on the road now.
Luckily our nurses dropped off enough pills
to get us through the next few days.
We hear the next town’s shop is closed
and nothing moved on the airstrip for two hours.
The clinic, the shop, the office, the airstrip,
But the art centre will be open tomorrow
and the desert never shuts down
even when children go away and everyone
is sick, our desert still concentrates
on its flowers, its grasses, snakes and lizards.
It is so busy, there is so much to attend to,
the art is so pressing and vivid
that evacuation is out of the question.
We hear people fighting, or it could be the crows
arguing some fine point with the pushy Corellas.
We hear a car go by full of boys ready for a fight
or a card game.
We don’t know whether to panic or go to sleep.
Crows knock down the bins along the road
and kick the garbage about with perfect contempt
We will light a fire and build a telescope
and invite the few we know to come over
for tea and visions.
Isn’t that what all this comes to?