(Hour 07) 04.30-05.30am. VISUAL PROMPT, old couple on bench in silhouette 

Lookout

Ryan wants to detour to Septimus Hill
Where there’s a lookout overlooking
Half the plains to the sea
Been arguing about it for hours

He wants to get a lie of the land
Like he imagines himself a kind of General
His words: foolish, a nonsensical notion
But since he’s driving we do regardless

I worry we’ll be too exposed on bare rock
Why take any additional unnecessary risk?
But we do. Park partway up the hill
While there is still tree cover of a kind

& hike. Twenty minutes of thigh-crunching
Slog! The did I get so unfit? I play netball.
I run. But right now I burn. Whereas my oddball
Ironman has barely cracked a sweat.

Finally arrive at the summit & wish I had water
A couch, & a masseuse who knows acupuncture
Amazed just how much dust there is
Between here & the blurred horizon

& for the first time — I realise — how quiet
No insects, very few almost hesitant birdcalls
(no song) & no sign of movement on any roads
In any paddock in any direction

The stillness is sublime. Until we see a car
Slowly trundling along a distant road.
Almost instantly a drone roars in from the south
Two quick bolts of light & the car’s smoking.

The sonic boom hits us a few seconds later.
Shit Ryan remarks drily. Might have to rethink our approach.

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