01 Nov

swollen stream

She told him about the pileated woodpecker whose call made her stop and look up and see its giant body clinging to the top of a dead standing tree, red crest blazing. She told him about suddenly coming upon a guinea pig grazing on the side of the trail, that when she spoke to it and tried to reach for it, scurried into a tunnel of matted grass into the blackberry thicket. She told him about the way the colors changed as the fog lifted and settled back down: lime yellow to gold, gray to bluegreen. She told him about stopping midway down a stretch of trail arched over with the branches of clumping trees, watching the surface of the water that overed the mossy roots beside the trail. How she waited, saw drops from branches create expanding wrinkles, but then there was hidden life, sluggish in the cold water, but unmistakable: sudden underwater lurches and lunges that could also be read in bulges and changes in reflected light. How as her glasses fogged up from the heat of the vapor off her cheeks, impeding her vision, she became aware of the sounds: melodious drips, gurgles, and small rushings of water through the bog.

But she said nothing her experience at the stream. How when she stopped at the bridge as usual, on the way out, and the newly swollen stream drew out of her a longing, a flood of memory from someone else’s past. She watched a bulging wave over a rock and the fast currents on either side, and how some of the water curled back around in its lee, felt an attraction and horror that threatened to nauseate her, and she turned away.  On her return she stopped further down the stream, looked for comfort in the shallow, gravelly bed that reminded her of the streams she waded as a child. But there was only cold and warning. And then she tore herself away to continue on the trail to the house. She told him of the beauties of the trail, but about the stream, she only told him, “I want to live by a river. It could even be a small one, but some kind of river. It’s in my blood.”


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2 responses to “River

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    November 2, 2014 at 6:11 am

    this is a third-person voice worth your time—hopefully you can keep allowing it room to breathe and roam–and see where it leads you. Can you? Will you?


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