Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Jan 06

Harsh is the Land

Patched trousers, dirt on his hands,
Working hard, he challenges the land,
Up at dawn, splashes his face,
There’s work to do around the place.
Cows to be milked, animals fed,
A quiver on his lips, shoulders squared,
Things for him were extremely bad,
Shockingly, war had killed his dad.
Overnight he’d grown into a man,
The only son, this sturdy lad,
Twelve years old today,
He’d meet life’s challenges in every way.
Responsibility lay like a heavy cloak,
He’d struggle, but would he cope?
Mend fences, would it be too hard?
Ploughing acres yard by yard.
The bush telegraph did the rounds,
When needed, neighbours, friends were found,
Help and advice were given now,
Grasping the use of the stump-jump plough.
Idleness never had been a part of his life,
Working hard from dawn til night,
Drought visited his place,
Death written on it’s face,
When perils come to the man on the land,
Aussies in the outback, rally together to lend a hand.

Hilda Oakley
Copyright © 28.08.2001

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