I am on the top road that goes past the generator shed. It is quartzy white with sand and my small stick drags a tiny furrow. Behind me the farmhouse has a yellow roof and the gate is open.
I can see the bottom road through the pepper trees, it is forbidden. It goes past the dam. Once my cousin taunted us and the dam called us and the black mud filled my sandals. Punishment was stinging for who would have saved us when none of us could swim?
The Jam trees twist their thin trunks. Amongst them is a toy house of rough wood, built by older boys. It is also forbidden although the reason is less clear. It has treasures, a clock, a coin a small blue bottle. I saw them there once on a plank shelf but I am not allowed to play.
My stick continues its accompaniment. I stop and write my name in the crystalline sand – for I am a precocious child and letters please me. Past the tractor, past the shearing shed I am halted by a hissing malice of geese. The dog saves me from their inexplicable fury and grants me passage, I write his name on the road. This is a trail a woodcutters child could trace all the way home.
Past the cattle race I am stopped by the oily spill of the sheep dip filled to the very brim with black water. A crow floats dead on the surface and the dangerousness of sin is just below. My stick bends like a divining rod as I try to lever it up – for who else will save it when neither of us can swim?