Monday, April 7, 2014

terraqueous atchafalaya

THERE’S A BLACK-AND-WHITE photograph of six Cajun children standing barefoot on a long gnarly tree branch. The branch stretches horizontally several feet above the ground — low enough, I imagine, for the four oldest ones to have climbed up and onto it all by themselves.
     Yet as the branch grows sideways it gets thinner and curls upward, curling so high that the two men standing below it have to stretch to hold the two youngest ones up there.
     The tree, I’m told, is still standing in the Basin, but sixty years later so much sediment has deposited the branch is now entirely underground. The ground has grown six feet taller. The children, only two or three more feet.