The bus turned off the Hume Highway and swung onto the Barton in the heat of the February day. Hazel stared out the window at the road that stretched before. She felt the change as the bus turned the corner, like a border had been crossed, and while the ground ahead appeared unmarked to the naked eye, Hazel felt the strangeness of being on foreign country.
She stared ahead into the dry haze. The highway, like the one she’d just left, was lined with tired sheep farms, their sagging fences and rusting gates a testament to better times, when the sheep’s back was worth riding. The country had officially come out of a drought the year before, coinciding conveniently with the election of the Hawke Government. But Hazel could see from the pale dirt and the dejected clusters of over-woolly sheep, clamouring for a spot in the slim line of shade provided by the one gum tree left standing in the otherwise moonscape paddock, that the sheep’s back was broken.
This is only available to a Meanjin subscriber.
But we can fix that.
It\’s just $100 for a print subscription, $5 for a monthly digital subscription, and $50 for an annual digital subscription.