The Flow of the River had Stopped

by Mariah Noel

Riverbed Cracked Dried Mud
CC0 Public Domain


We had heard no water rushing for near a week | Our downstream cabin was sore dry and throats dusty
Young travellers in their wagon stopped to board a meal and bandy words
Over potatoes they brought, the mush meat we shared — they tell us news from the east — and upriver
-You hear the skirmish last week?
–Ay, geste.
-Twixt the brutes of the hill and the swine of the plains?
–Ay, geste. Stayed hid and hoped they would nay come.
-Follow us
Follow we did
The river on our side reduced to dry bedrock and crunched crayfish
There, a great blockade stood / one of mud and sticks
Shook our heads – but the young travellers beckoned us to step round
| They had washed downriver |
remnants of a victorless battle
| Swept away among cannon debris and fellow bodies |
Beavers swimming around a dam built from bodies and bones.


Mariah Noel studies Acting and Literature. Her flash fiction piece, “The Patch of Darkness”, was featured in Sick Lit Magazine.

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