On the Farm in Africa with Father
She arrives in a dust storm, six years
from her last visit. Eight decades
bend him over but he ambles
all over the farm — firm on his land.
Recalcitrant rain abandons dry earth
vegetable crops saved by boreholes.
At 11 pm he drives to switch off the pumps.
His wife anguishes behind the security fence.
Father and daughter crawl at 2 kph in his battered ute
hands clench the steering wheel in stubborn grip.
Cataract eyes search their way through nut trees,
at the meter he gets out to read the water’s pressure.
Bewildered struggle to find his way back
into the car, blinded by headlights,
a ghost peeping around the bonnet
he shrugs off his embarrassment like dust.
At first light he will rise again —
letting the dogs out for a morning pee.
All day he’ll watch the ominous clouds
longing for her next visit.
Martha Landman writes in Adelaide, Australia, where she is a member of the Friendly Street Poets. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies in UK, US and Australia.