I sip sweet tea on the balcony and watch the day unfold way across the valley, a visitor slowing to the breath of an alien land. Squares of cloth white yellow and red flap and flutter on lines against mud brick huts; an ox is tethered nearby. Suddenly from behind a curved wall a hoer appears ankle deep in the sectioned rice field; then two more, like flies on a windscreen. I blink and there are six, just popped up out of the very earth as though they’d been playing ‘hidey’ in the grass. Long-legged birds reflected in the water stalk in the wake of the hoers. Long ago in my childhood the days passed with just such repetitious simple acts; a framework that held my life in place as I did my round of chores, quietly to the occasional chorus of hens and cows and a barking dog.
Ros Schulz spent her childhood in the Barossa Valley and Murray Mallee, before settling in Adelaide. Along with raising a family of four, she was a high school teacher for 12 years in country South Australia and Adelaide, and for a further year in London; she also spent 15 years as a TAFE lecturer in Communication Studies. With both poetry and prose pieces in South Australian and interstate publications, she has been a long-term member of Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets and a regular contributor to its anthologies.