Driving to Lawn Hill

 Out here the highway starts with reassurance

but soon will dump its drivers on rough dirt,

washboard roads to unfenced silence

an aftermath of dust.

Passing drivers lift a finger

knowing this red country can

destroy, a landscape simplified

to sky, earth, air and fire

but no water: the braided rivers run with sand.

The road leads on deeper into myth

towards fear in bareness, heat,

flat in all the compass points

so when a destination comes,

presents a campground, toilets, gorge,

the green of hidden water, palms,

a tiny spill of people, who’ve also driven here,

it’s like redemption.

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