the water came, the water receded

Greg Fallis

The land: The water came, the water receded. The leaves fell, the snow covered everything then melted. The water came again and receded again. Men came with bulldozers; they knocked down houses and filled trucks with the rubble and carted it all away. Given time, the water would have done the same thing—but people live short lives and so are always in a hurry.

They left the roads, but in time they’ll crumble too. Seeds carried downstream and lodged in stone and cement will grow, send out root systems, break up the concrete. Seeds dropped from trees or transported in the fur of a feral cat or born by the wind will take root in the rich soil left behind by the floodwaters. More roots, more small cracks in the road surface, and soon—a decade, three decades, seven, soon by earth time—soon the roads will be gone. Everything will be fine again.

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