Vista- Whipstick Mallee country

It’s there, at least what’s left of it. The line
ran back inside the station gates. You’ll see
a pile of torn up sleepers stacked behind
that mound that used to be the platform. We
all knew it had to end – you can’t cut much
from scrub as thin as this. But still, two trucks
of whipstick every day’s not bad. We ran
six lorry loads a week until we cut
the Churchlands Hundred out – good money, and
we needed it – you know our rainfall – years
we didn’t get our seed back. Then the sand
began to shift. The saltbush held it down
for quite a while, but then the stumps went too –
good wood, brought in a bit, but, then we found
we had to cart too far and sand drifts slowed
us down for hours and by the time they closed
the railway down the town and district seemed,
well, opened up – but dusty. Some of us
remember how it was – all mallee – nothing much
to look at I suppose,
but, you know,
different – green.

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