This article was comissioned by Runway Journal Conversations and Peacock Gallery and edited by Winnie Dunn from Sweatshop.
I am sitting on the water edge, in another man’s land. Sitting watching the current go by.
I imagine a crocodile come out and drag me into the water.
But there are no crocodiles in this water not like the ones back home or in the places that I have lived and called home. I feel the feeling that war is coming, always coming. It never goes and I know the end. And still I fight.
Nungjin made woonchooo to smoke us. It was buta kunga mulka. Down the river. I walked through the smoke. Again. Again and again. I haven’t been home in a long time. Woonchoo was small but smoke was enough for my family to go through. I turned to kunga mulka and I walked in as Sun hit my head and monga as it flowed in the breeze. The buna was slowly running, brown and clear in some places. Mussel shells hiding like rock. Nunjin passed me a bucket and my niece, my daughter and her mother dove in the kunga mulka. I put the bucket in the buna and I let it fill up and I lifted it up and threw it over my head.
Phoebe Grainer is a Djungan woman from Far North Queensland and is part of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. Phoebe completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2016. Her performance credits include Saltbush, Scorched and Yellamundle Festival Readings. Phoebe's work has been published in The Lifted Brow.
Runway Journal acknowledges the custodians of the nations our digital platform reaches.
Runway Journal is produced by a voluntary board and pay our contributors above industry rates. If you have found some delight in this content, please consider a one-time or recurring monthly donation.
We extend this acknowledgment to our First Nations writers, artists and audiences.
Runway is supported by