no drought

there’s never a drought
in psychiatry

our doors are always open

the beds always full

last week it was seclusion
for a woman

a big and burly farmer’s wife
with an attitude

their farm is going to go
because you can’t feed dairy cattle
on bullshit
and empty grass
and in tough times
farmers string themselves up
or take to eating the outpouring
of a shotgun
rather than betray their ancestors
or their children
by failing
on the land

and this woman


she’s read all the stories
and had a crack
at doing the deed
at hanging herself

not quite serious enough
to make sure she wasn’t found
but close

it’s a different story

a young boy
from off the farm

went away to warrnambool

got in with a bad crowd
onto the drugs
and into debt

fifty thousand dollars worth
and nothing to show

all his cronies sold what he bought
for next to nothing
as soon as he turned away from them

and back home
he’s milking
morning and night

sleeping in between

gotten irritable
that can’t be anything to do
with illicit drugs
can it

he’s had no opportunity

the parents think
it’s about the debt

I know better
but it’s not my call to make

they’ve sold the water rights

worth a good penny in the drought
and they’re sub-dividing the farm

they’ll end up all right
and they’ll pay out the debts
of all four of the kids

that’ll see them right
when you’re nearly sixty
what else are you going to do

good job
they don’t have to stay
on the land

good job

in psychiatry
there’s never
a drought

© Frank Prem, 2006

Next Poem: lagoon #24

Back to Drought/Lagoon – Introduction



6 thoughts on “no drought

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