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

Max Cameron: I really enjoyed this book.I would have liked to see more of Dominic's p.o.v. I am looking forward to the next book.

Minerva Juliette: This is a really sweet Christmas story with some lovely fireworks 🎆 🎇 Gives you the true Christmas feeling even when you read it in July! @linzvonc is an amazing writer and I enjoy every story she writes to the Max.

teresajovi: I cant put this book down!!!

Harleen: I loved how it turned out to be ....however I felt it was a bit rushed...but the plot overall was heart felt

Alexandria: I really liked the book I didn't really care for how her family treated her but overall it was a really good book I would recommend it to my friends also even though the book was confusing at first and some parts in the middle because the names would change and it did get kinda confusing but if t...

Ellida Yngente: Enjoyable read so far . Nice leading characters and good contemporary plot .

apploveito: Cara is confident about her own body. Didn't want to be just someone else's pleasure by hurting herself. And Lucas was trying to be mature for not forcing the relationship, realizing that it needs more time to think. No rush. Good job!

Sheila: Ok the parents in this story have me mad with all that poor girl is going threw, hope they get their stuff together & this girl opens her eyes & leave his house his parents suck big time.

More Recommendations

Sash Gaffoor: Absolutely love this plot and the story has me hooked, looking forward to reading more

astaraxy: The authour represents emotions and setting perfectly! Wonderful grammar, I already know the second installment will be amazing!

Serenia Newton: Amazing story. Can't wait for the next book. Congrats on getting it published

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

Deign Pen: I have already been recommending this book to everyone I know. You can broaden your audience by publishing your story on NovelStar Mobile App.

skryfvirmarian1: This story is very true to life,the characters and description of scenery is very vivid and interesting, the way of speaking to one another realistic !

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