The horizon softens. The haze of today is lost behind us, the water finally receded from our homes and the homes of our neighbors. The father and I pull up our sacred bundles from the sodden row boat, and even through this pain my eyes sometimes glimpse the green of this place: the brown and the dirt and the loss, but yes, there is still green.

A very young girl sits on the roof next door. The father waves to her, and her small blond curls shake in the wind of the sky. Her white knuckles shivering, she clenches the edges of shingles beneath her feet. “Why is she shaking her head no?” He asks.

I look at her. She has already turned her head away, facing toward the town and the cars filled with mud and the fading light. “Maybe she thinks you want her to come down?”

He looks at me. He has his wife’s eyes. “If I could I’d make it so she never had to.”


Cassondra Combs
Age 27
Portland, Oregon, United States of America

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