Was it the rainy moon? A longing for reanimation?
Or a reminder to us of the sound we had lost? Forgotten?
Two weeks before for a week, the vault above had warned us.
During those days, an oyster sky for an hour here, there spoke
sprinkles as fine netting; for an afternoon on different days, a purple-
bruised dome squalled torrents of silver needles; a dirty-washing
firmament patterned steady rain for two long days. Rivulets as
earth-bound stories gushed down cliff-faces and hills. Pooled in many spots
along the streets, water molecules gathered for story times. The following week,
the weather was clear. We mailed letters, purchased bread, hung washing on our lines.
In March 1974, Lismore ignored another inundation. Now street signs write
your histories: different depths at points on the floodplain; bricks & mortar &
belongings became flotsam, exposed foundations art installations.
Again in March, Cyclone Debbie and a low pressure system co-joined.
Conversations rumbled between them and you, Wilsons River.
After 40 + years, your perfect memory was ripe. Your homecoming
took shape. In your ancient way, our built environment, farm
land and Big Scrub remnants became intimates. For generations,
we've lifted belongings, moved stock & vehicles then returned them.
Yet this flood cycle was different. The old stories were washed away.
Afterwards, we stood still; our hearts roiled, minds soiled.
All your new stories were now mud, hidden & awaited reappearance.
Were you angry with us? Was it the construction of the levee?
When will your voice speak our lessons?