River Signs

River Signs | Vantage, WA | June 2019

Water bends light in weird ways. Fifty years ago, my friend Tom burst to the surface of a farm pond to shout that he’d found a body. (We cooled off in the pond on sweltering afternoons.) “Come see,” said Tom, and he dove back under. I followed him to the far bank, where in about 6 feet of water shimmered what looked like a man covered in slime. Ah, but the underwater light was playing tricks. It cast twisted shadows across an algae-coated tree branch to form a head, torso and arms. False alarm, but that murky scene still floats, rippling, from memory’s depths.