Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Rain Matters

Rain Matters

Jessica Shimmon

Year 8, Castle Hill High School

I used to hate the rain.

The way it would make my clothes stick, and how it would send me indoors.

But that was before, when we had animals and when the grass grew on the paddocks,

That was before the drought.

I used to love running around on the paddocks, chasing the dogs,

Then jumping into the creek and swimming all afternoon.

But now the dogs are dead, and the creek is all dried up,

The puppies didn't even survive a month.

My family would always sit around and watch when a baby calf was being born,

There was something in the air that just made it all the more special.

But now we sit around and watch all our cattle die.

And there is nothing we can do to help.

I used to ride the horses with my dad every evening,

Rounding up the sheep and bringing them home.

But now he sits and watches the blinding sun disappear,

With empty eyes, and a bottle of whisky.

My mum used to love water fights,

Splashing and laughing in the scorching sun.

But now she is careful, precise,

Every last drop of water is as valuable as gold.

My family always ate dinner together, every night,

And share our stories from the day just gone.

But now dinner only brings sad news,

Of less food, less animals, less water.

At school, we used to have a vegetable garden,

And we would watch all the plants grow with excitement.

But now it is just a patch of dry dirt,

A constant reminder of how much we have lost.

My neighbours used to sell flowers at a roadside stall,

There was always a queue, waiting to buy their beautiful flowers.

But now the stall in abandoned, empty,

There are no longer any flowers to sell.

The monthly markets were always so much fun,

Full of amazing smells, amazing animals and amazing food.

But now the marketplace is a ghost town,

No one can afford to sell anything.

The town used to have an amazing fountain,

In the very middle of the square.

But the water stopped flowing weeks ago,

It is now dry just like everything else.

My life used to be full of wonder,

And every day was a new exciting adventure.

But now I have seen the hardship of the land,

And witnessed what it is like to hit rock bottom.

I used to hate the rain,

But the drought is slowing tearing apart my family.

It's killing the land, the animals, and the spirit of the farmers.

I really miss the rain.