Under the drought sun, even the grass burns.

Hare bones dry on the asphalt;

the bleeding bitumen looks a little like water.

The hawk picks the carcass clean.

These parched throat days should not be beautiful,

but I have always found them so.

Midas-touched grass, crumpled paper hills,

the warp in the air above the car bonnet,

like a portal to a parallel world,

where the roads are rivers.


Stand among the browning grass on the plains,

and we will begin to evaporate;

nothing made of water can survive here long.

We will join the big sky—as my grandmother called it—

and perhaps one day we will fall as rain

to quench the hare

and the hawk, and the hills.



Alice Fairley is a writer based in Whangārei, Aotearoa | New Zealand. She is currently completing a diploma in Creative Writing through NorthTec Te Pūkenga. When life gives her lemons, she puts a slice in her gin and tonic.