Camp in Finke River National Park

From where I stand, washing dishes in a rectangular plastic tub, I can see the roiling approach of buff-shouldered clouds – a bellicose sky. A shard of lightning rips a fierce line down the purple horizon and I flinch, searingly aware of my metal watch. I take off all my jewellery and put it in my bag. I pack up the dishes and the tub, moving quickly, desperately.

He is under the car, probably glad of the cool edge to the moody wind gusts which flick hair into my eyes and increase my anxiety. The empty tent flaps ominously on its slatted platform.

“I think we should get off this hill,” I tell him when he emerges. To my relief, after a glance out westward, he agrees. We pack the car hurriedly and drive to a lower point, hunkering there through hail and sheets of driven rain. The storm bares its too-white fangs over and over. I hug my jacket and stare at the luminous dials on the dash, listening to the car roof get its drubbing.

In the morning the desert glows a new shade of red and the scrub is alive with glistening droplets. We head into Hermannsburg where the cop tells us we won’t get to Uluru through the national park today. The Finke River is flooded.

  Desert sand sucked up
       a red and knotting scarf
    the falling purple sky entwines

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday prompt “Fear”

14 thoughts on “Camp in Finke River National Park

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