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The Forgotten Disaster
7 May 2009

The 2009 flood of north west Queensland is the forgotten disaster of the Australian summer. From the beginning of January the waters rose right through the gulf region and by late January the majority of the region was isolated and remained isolated well into March. The cattle and wildlife were largely left to fend for themselves.

Darlene Taylor wrote this poem.

I Stand And Wait

I’m but a cow, I eat grass and most years I have a calf. I live in good grass country; we get lots of rain, 3 or 4 moons every year. This year, when I had my calf, the big rain came and the water rose. Now I stand and wait.

Here on this little bit of land, I stand and wait. But I’m lucky for all around me, I see water, as I stand and wait. I hear my friends calling out, but I can only stand and wait.

One moon comes and goes, yet I stand and wait. All the grass is gone, and still I stand and wait. My belly is empty, and my milk has dried up, and I stand and wait. I watch my calf grow weak, and die, but still I stand and wait.

I hear less and less friends calling, while I stand and wait. Another moon comes, and goes, but I stand and wait. I hear, in the distance, a noise, that funny bird that chases me each year is coming. I see the hay it’s bringing at last. But it’s too late, because no longer can I stand, and wait.

Darlene L. Taylor

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