Sensing the stillness, she opened her eyelids on
smooth yellow sand, unbroken by even
a single footprint.
Moving stiff limbs, stretching raw skin, she flipped herself over,
pushed to her knees, rose to her feet and
took a slow step.
The ground seemed to waver, but she kept her balance and
stayed on the tightrope as she walked
towards the trees.
When she reached the shade, her thoughts became clearer,
able to be read without the hostile glare
of the sun.
Every cell begged her, clamouring together
that the first thing she must find was
She peered down the beach, where the sand stretched for miles
and the only thing that moved was the
shimmer of heat.
She peered through the trees, into a dark mess of branches
and the only thing she heard was the
song of crickets.
All she knew to do was to walk along the shore,
staying in the shade and praying very hard for
an outflowing creek.
For hours she crept forward, stepping to the beat
of the pulsing of insects throbbing
in her brain.
As her vision was assaulted with fireworks in her eyes,
she focussed on her feet, which is why she didn’t see
what was ahead.
When suddenly the ground gave way, she screamed and felt herself
fall blind, headfirst into a rushing stream of
fresh, clear water.
It washed away the salt, it washed away the tears and blood,
it seeped inside her blistered mouth and eventually through each
She was burned by the sun, smashed by the wind, salted by the sea,
surprised to survive and overwhelmingly happy
to be alive.