Academic journal article Chicago Review

And Then, One Day, the Rains

Academic journal article Chicago Review

And Then, One Day, the Rains

Article excerpt

And then, one day, the rains, the rains stopped raining down on our muddy river town, and all that mud that made our town the muddy river town that it was, all of that mud, it all dried up and turned to dirt. And the river, yes, the river, too, all of that muddy water that made our muddy river the muddy river that it was, even the river and the mud at the bottom of the river, after not too long, it too turned to dirt. Yes, Brother, it was so dry in our dirty river town with its dirty river no longer running through it that when us brothers, when we walked down to where our muddy river used to be, what we found there instead of a river, there was just dirt stretching out as far as our eyes could see. Water, no, there was no water anywhere that us brothers looked. And so, us brothers, what we did was, we walked out and across and out into the dirt hoping that where the dirt ended there would be water there and there would be the makings of mud there for us brothers to make into mud. And so we walked, and we walked, and we kept on walking on and on, across this dirt, walking with our faces pressing against the made-out-of-dirt sky. Us brothers, for four hundred days and four hundred more nights, we walked: in search of water, a river falling from the sky. A bird flying above us brothers would not have seen us brothers walking across dirt. All it would have seen was dirt being blown across dirt. One morning, though, us brothers, we stopped our walking, and we found ourselves standing at the edge of a field of corn. This corn, it was growing up all brittled and stunted and brown up from all of this dirt. It was so dry, this corn, that when one of us brothers breathed, just the breath of us brothers breathing would make those corned stalks start to break. Or when we snapped off a shriveled-up ear and ripped off its papery husk, so dry were those skins that up from our hands they would blow and float away in a wind that was barely blowing. Inside, there were no yellow kernels to be found by us brothers: only the cobs themselves which would crumb apart and turn into dust. So what are we going to do? …

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