First published in Griffith Review, Edition 47 Looking West, published January 2015.
With much gratitude to co-editors, Julianne Schultz and Anna Haebich.
ON THE SOUTH-WEST boundary of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, in the centre of Australia, an unmarked red-dirt track turns left off the Lasseter Highway. For the few kilometres still within park lines it’s known as Docker River Road. Beyond that point it becomes Tjukaruru Road, leading to Western Australia through Aboriginal freehold land.
In 2006, as a member of the park staff, I occasionally had to go down Docker River Road for work. From the park boundary I would stare into the seemingly untouched red landscape, both delighting and recoiling at the expanse of land ahead. I had never ventured any further.