the current

She is waiting for me at the end, hunched over the bank, constantly searching with her hands as they work the fronds into shape. She has been here a long time and has made as many baskets as there are lines woven on her face. She notices me walking toward her and stoops at the edge of the dark water, beaming and nodding. As I reach her, she eagerly and slowly pulls me into her. She smells like sweat, faded sunlight, and Tide. As we embrace, I become small in her arms, smaller and smaller, until I fit just in the crook of her elbow. She gently places me in a basket and pushes me onto the water. The current is not strong.

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