Swing Low, Old Man

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Summary

I am a child of rivers.

Genre:
Drama / Other
Author:
ErinEph
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

...

I am a person of rivers, of earth and reeds and boats from storybooks passing by in a single direction, flowing swiftly through the passing water. I am a person of a river’s direction, from the place where it is birthed by streams and split easily by saplings, to its confluence, a mile wide and choked with whirlpools spinning deeper into themselves and outwards, downstream again, all the way to the delta that reeks amphibious and shimmers with spilled diesel fuel.

There’s poetry in rivers, in the romance of their names. The sigh in the river Ohio, meandering through the corruptions visited upon it by the chemical plants, tire factories, and waste treatment centers that pay money to Appalachian states for the privilege of poisoning their inhabitants. The stalwart breadth of the Missouri, formed by ice ages and forded by pioneers, taking its tribute in their animals, possessions, and children. The silver banner of the Rio Grande, a far more poignant symbol of patriotism and the American dream than any flag-draped high school football stadium in any county of Texas. The twists and turns sung for the mnemonic device of the Mississippi, the biggest, the muddiest, the grandfather of them all that both nestled and laid its fishbelly waste to the city of my birth.

An ocean is deliverance but a river can breathe. It continues to run, to overflow, to laugh at the dams, bridges, and barge captains trusted to control it, and when it heaves up its gifts, washes them up on shores of mangrove tangles or brick slopes slapped into place during drought seasons, it is forgiven. It’s offerings are whole trees hurled downstream after twisters, blind catfish the size of refrigerators, weapons, toys, a piece of a now defunct waterpark slide and sometimes bodies, so many bodies, riddled with bullets or entombed in the trunks of drowned cars or sometimes just soaked through, lungs rotted into sludge become food for mutated crustaceans.

When I was maybe six, my grandmother took me on a riverboat cruise. Standing at the railing near the paddlewheel, I watched white-bellied dead fish float past as I sucked orange soda through a straw and said to her, “Imagine all the dead bodies in there.”

Her reply was non-commital and, looking back, probably a little bit scared.

I am still awed by the grand scale of seas and terrified by the thought of standing atop the crushing height of Victoria Falls, and I admit that there is a cold loveliness to the depth of Puget Sound, a briny waft stealing through downtown streets up from the scalloped bay that drops suddenly into an ink-dark cloak for families of whales.

But it is rivers that I know most intimately, and their loam that I smell when I go home in my dreams. I squeeze their clay through my fists and still worry at their levels in late spring. I am here, alive, and my skin and hair know the sting of saltwater fog, but already, some form of my body rides the river currents, mute and staring, critters nibbling as I drift past.

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Further Recommendations

Gabby_050206: I am really enjoying the book so far. It’s very easy to read and written very well. The plot is not cliche. There aren’t plot holes everywhere. And she uses very good grammar. These are traits that some writers lack. But this authors has all of these traits in spades.

Vildana: I enjoy this book as the previous one from the series

Kurimah: The writer should continue this beautiful story.lt is just fantastic and ended suddenly

aurorakabashi: the story is great shes really storng but the bros are really jerks sometimes and the bff moment did not suprise me it happens in a lot of books the twist was nice cant wait for more

Rhonda: Loved it wish it wouls of been longer

Nuhaa: This is a very nice book to read. Highly recommended. Well done author

Annelin Viste: So Sweet, this time it havs to end well for Cassie and Dom 🙏🙏🥰

Heather Roberts Judge: I just found these books and they are wonderful! I have a hard time putting them down. It has made me laugh, cry, sob, and put myself in the shoes of some of the main characters. I think you are a phenomenal writer and I see a great future for you!

zamifaku: I like their characters, being learned people. I feel like guy is not out coming with his feelings for her

More Recommendations

Trina Johnson: Good read, curious to why would she marry him knowing he's already cheating before they even marry

socealivia: Love your story. Thanks for sharing! 🥰👏🤗

lba79101: It really good

Mel: Omg I really love this story and can’t wait for more updates. Looking forward to reading your other stories now. Thank you for sharing ❤️

Cj Tukana: Woah...had a feeling she wanted Roman....

Deign Pen: Very Interesting. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition this April.

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