All those diamonds released from rings in dishwater from gold clasps not properly maintained, caught in p-traps and eventually shoved down the drain, washed out into hidden channels under ditches. Are they all in the bottoms of aeration pools covered in algae and brown dust. Who is the one who searches them out, and how can they be discovered? A metal detector would not suffice. All just so much midden for some post apocalyptic archaeologist, or a boy swimming in a foothills stream.
Sucked up by a bottom feeding fish, carried away, angular gravel oozing through gut, carried zigzag, undulate, wait, up past bridges and urban trails and malls and farmland, up where the reeds grow and the gravel bottom is softly carpeted with sifted sediment.Deposited in the stream, tumbling down through eddies and washed clean, swept out a wide curve and dropped along a wash where a fly fisher packs up her tackle and wades out for lunch.
Sandwiches and mandarin oranges, a half hour wait to prevent cramps, and the boy is allowed to wade out and splash in the pools of the stream. “Can I use your mask and snorkel, Mom?” Chill water prickles his skin, he slowly lowers, kneels, lies face downward and the underwater world comes into view. Tiny snails clinging to swaying weeds, dappled pebbles, a spongy, sunken log with a shred of plastic waving like a flag.
He finds that if he moves the pebbles slowly and waits a few seconds, the mud clears and he can see the ones underneath, sometimes fish eggs clinging. A crayfish darts under the log. A sparkle from the side of his vision, and he curves his body, alligator-like, to look closer, tries to pick it up between two fingers. It drops, drifts, tumbles along the bottom and he loses sight of it. It must be somewhere in front of that group of larger rocks, he thinks, where it’s shadowy, and he wonders how to search without burying it again.
Someone crashes, splashes into the pool, throws their body forward in a starfish landing. The wave tips him over part way, and his elbow hits the pebbles. He pushes himself to his knees, sees his father’s cold-shocked, smiling face, water running off his bangs and drops all through his beard, and the delighted boy leaps and both splash back down.