Brown muck runs where water once did, the drought drying up the corners of the river like shriveling bread.
I can almost walk on water that is not water.
But I can’t make fish live or find bread for hungry men too proud to ask for food stamps. I can only give them spare change.
The dry twigs crack under each step I take, making me ach all over, making me believe that if this river dies, so will I.
The geese come, land, linger, then they fly away after exhausting what is left to eat.
I ache to feed them the way the old woman did before she died, but there are too many and no promise that hungry men won’t follow my trail of crackers, devouring all of it before the birds can.
The sparrows alone seem satisfied with the muck of the river, since the mud draws flies, midges and mosquitoes they can feed on even when none others along the river can – save for the bats, who come out, only at night.