By Chris Erickson

June 18, 2018


Sassafras, shagbark hickory, spicebush, paw paws and sycamores marked the descent to the creek. The untillable acres, as they call them. The hills too steep and outcrops too rocky. The forgotten backs of farms. 

This was after the two divorces and the death and the 12,000 miles I put on my car looking for anywhere else until I ran out of steam and came back to northern Kentucky. Back home. One walk to the creek and what else was there to say? The dips, hills, and pockets on the southern border of the Ohio River fit me like a smooth stone in the hand. We’re all from where we’re from. You can leave but you can’t take it with you. 

Upstream from a massive sycamore the creek met another creek, and the mixing currents swirled in a smooth arc under ancient knobby sycamore roots, the bank long since eroded around them. A washed out, overcast sky lay heavy on the water. Perched on suspended roots I reached out my hands to cast a shadow through the glare, a window to clear water. In the shadow window the surface wobbled and shimmered leaving the swirl. 

Slowly, tail-first to a foreign rhythm, a group of four-inch minnows appeared, tacking sideways with just a turn of the head, then correcting back upstream, their thin bodies arrayed like weather vanes, finding pockets and seams and ribbons of moving water that a lifetime of study couldn’t make visible to me, holding steady in the current.

comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow