She took off her shoes and walked along the bank, water, mud and grass between her toes, imaging someone was playing a piano just upriver, the music coming down toward her like hundreds of little folded paper sailboats.

She went out deeper, until the water reached the hem of the dress bunched up above her knees. The river urged her along, fell in love, hoped she’d stay forever, but understood she couldn’t. A cardinal landed beside her, as she lay in the grass, drying. It hopped along twice, and took flight.

A good wind for travel came from the east.


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