Dugout 17

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

My Secret River

Along the Fly River my village quietly thrived,
Quenched by its waters and by its jungles clothed,
And nourished by sago and bounties of the wild,
And by the ways of our fathers, for centuries survived.

Up the Fly River a gold mine came forth,
With mammoth machines, pried open the earth's vault,
Our tribal chieftains from these acts can't find fault,
With the promises of wealth of unfathomable worth.

Down the Fly River some good things slowly flowed,
Made of money and aid and perks of the new world,
But with the flood waters came the tailings of gold,
Which choked our villages, killed our ways of the old.

Deep in my heart a secret river I kept,
With barramundi and crocs abundant in its depths,
And on its green banks wild creatures played and slept,
And in its villages, kids from hunger never wept.