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.