We found her at the mouth of Silver
We found her beside a tree stump
sharpened to a point by the beavers who regularly felled the trees to
transform Silver Creek into a pond quiet and anonymous and secret.
Thirty years back, we used to step
across that creek. How many gallons of water filled this place now?
We found her where I've stood with my
hands in the back pockets of my jeans, watching the concentric
circles—echoes of a stone thrown—widen and ripple before fading
away to stillness.
But a body of water—even a pond—is
never stagnant, even when it appears to be. And my daughter, so
silent and still, is so much more than people think she is.
I hate when her schoolmates mock her.
I hate it more when they ignore her.
I'd told her time and time again not to
come down here alone. There are hunters in these woods. And the water
But how can you keep a child from
And should you, even if you could?
We found her facing the cattails
growing in the icy marshland and I remembered, as I ran, how I tried
once upon a time to catch a trout with one, and failed.
We found one of her red boots turned
upside down in the snow. We found her orange scarf coated with ice.
We found her sitting on a log staring out over the water.
“Cari!” I shouted.
She turned and gave me a toothless
grin. She stood barefoot in the snow and laughed.
I pulled my cell phone from my pocket
and dialed. “We found her.” I picked her up and wrapped her in my
jacket. “Let's go home,” I said.
The beavers will continue cutting their
Her classmates will continue laughing
at my daughter.
And she will continue to find solace
among nature, beside the laughing stream.
Labels: Fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge