fall

by underswansea

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Bishop remembered back. He and his father had been walking through the bush. Beaver dams and drowned spruce. Strewn branches and deadfalls. Looked like a flood. Beavers can do that. It looked like rain. The clouds were dark through the treetops. They came to a rolling creek with a fallen logs. They knew the path. Bishop went ahead. Looking for loose bark on the bridge. It was wet. It was ten steps to the other side. A thousand before he and his father had crossed before.

Just after Bishop was able to walk he could remember being swept up in his father’s arms and carried across logs on the way to fish the creeks. But this log was monumental and worthy of remembrance, because it stopped his old father. He said he couldn’t cross. Bishop said, why not. It seemed nonsensical after all the trails.

Bishop was nearly twenty. His father lasted a decade after that. They had to pick their paths more carefully. The old man could still hike like a goat up the mountain. Even crossed a few logs but never with rushing water under them.

It was a turning point and they talked about it often before he died.

Bishop was at the age that his father was when he first started to get to know him. That went both ways, he figured.

He brought his father green huckleberry berries in July, golden tamarack needles in October. He even brought him a handful of the first snow in August from 9000 ft. It started off as a backpack full and not for the beer cooler at the truck it wouldn’t have made it.

The logs were across the creek. So far he could still cross them. But the day was coming. He knew that. The backcountry would be cut off. Nobody was going to bring him fuck all.

It didn’t scare him. It made him laugh, the way time can kick your ass.

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