The River

It’s so green here. Moss grows on everything that will hold still for it, huge vines crawl up the crumbling walls of abandoned houses and break them slowly apart. Forgotten barns are overtaken, steadily returned to the earth where their rotting planks began. The very soil hums with life. The mist rises out of the woods and slowly envelops our house. On still nights you can hear the passage of trains and the low rushing of the rivers off in the distance. 

The rivers are magnetic to me, even though I’m a poor swimmer with a fear of deep water. I’m drawn to its edge regardless. The muddy banks are home to so many creatures that go about their lives despite being one misstep from doom, swept away in the relentless current that stops for no one. The river is their ally, giver of life and harbinger of death at once. They appreciate it as their sustaining force until it ends them.

Some say the river has no memory; that it runs on toward its goal, guiltless and relentless, carrying those it claims along its course. To me, the river is memory. Its surface gathers souvenirs from everything it touches and drags them down to its muddy bottom. Its murky water hides its secrets unless the light shines on it just so. It rises and falls with rain and drought, so subject to the weather above it. Felled trees line its bottom, imperceptible, until they reach up to sink a passing boat. The ghosts of old victims can be seen sticking up out of the water, a silent reminder to everything that passes of what lurks just out of sight. The water flows forward despite its toll. It brings life or damnation depending on how the fates are cast. 

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