The Impossible Decision | Rob McKinnon

Protracted years of drought
led to unsurmountable debts
that gnawed destructively
and decayed relationships.

Obsessive routines
of checking climate predictions
that never forecasted the treasured rain
needed to break the dread.

Repairs undone mounted
essential fodder almost depleted
livestock grew unbearably thinner
crops failed to progress,
patience broken.

Extended family history
of demanding toil and lengthy days
created generational pressure
on weary minds,
thoughts of leaving
seemed like a betrayal.

Government assistance
would only lead to more time
but not more hope
which had evaporated
like the sparse showers
on the scorched ground.

Breaking point reached
when the weighty burdens
became intolerable
and no change in the weather was likely.

A previous impossibly imagined decision
is made to leave the land.

 


Rob McKinnon lives in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. His poetry has previously been published in ‘From the Ashes – A poetry anthology in support of the 2019-2020 Australian Bushfire relief effort’ Maximum Felix Media, The Wellington Street Review, Sūdō Journal, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, Re-Side Magazine, Nightingale & Sparrow Literary Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Dissident Voice, Tuck Magazine and InDaily.

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