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From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
pp. 27-33 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0077

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

You claim the clear water in wilderness on the far coast
is better because streams are filtered by mosses and lichens
of forests never logged, and the lakes are filled by snowpack,
white that has only ever touched white, melting to make water.
A fallen leaf can be seen over 100 feet below the surface of a lake—
such precision. An argument for purity. But is that what you want
to argue for, stranger? You’re leaning closer. Waters here are murky.
It’s an ancient, worn landscape with slow moving rivers that let
hundreds of kinds of life evolve. Your crystalline creeks house only one
species of fish and are considered complete. More fish than you
could ever count and whole cars lie beneath these bodies of mine.
I swam over a wreck for years without seeing it until I grew old enough,
got long legs, and something soft and slick wrapped around my toe,
a seat belt unloosed, rotten backseat leather unfurling in current,
drawing me down toward the metal below. Imagine where such
waters could let you drift. Though not many would argue rusted cars
were virtues. How about cows that swim the river? Call them cow-brutes,
call them milking-critters, call them beasties, in the vernacular
of this place where things are named twice or oddly to honor complexity.
To make them familiar, because this is worked land, intimate. Or to
make them sound bigger and fiercer, to flatter what we tame.
How do you like to be talked to? The cattle slipping on muddy banks—
yes, they cloud the water, but have you watched the way they drop
their meaty bodies in on hot days, graceless but trusting? That abandon.
You’d have to enter my house like that. You’d have to be unafraid
of stumbling on sagging floors, into low doorframes, features
of old structures, the past, people I know. They’ve always known me.
And I am regaining my footing in this conversation; there are more species
of salamanders in the Southern Appalachians than in any other
temperate region. Come home with me. Come in and tell me I can have
everything. That all of this I love survives, the farms that strove only for
subsistence, content with the providence of junk piles, pearl and diamond
darters, the rarer fauna, the multiplicity of trees, you, the charm of you
so new each move crackles. Say I don’t have to give anything up, I can keep
loving it all, and touch your arm, in this land where science has yet to name
many creatures, as rich in breeds as the tropics, land studded with trailers
and slash heaps that blaze into great fires, of plenty, even excess.

Copyright © 2013 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Rose McLarney. "How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed." The Missouri Review 36.3 (2013): 27-33. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
McLarney, R.(2013). How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed. The Missouri Review 36(3), 27-33. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Rose McLarney. "How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed." The Missouri Review 36, no. 3 (2013): 27-33. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
T1 - How History Would Have It, and: Redemption, and: Arcadia, and: Watershed
A1 - McLarney, Rose
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 3
SP - 27
EP - 33
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.3.mclarney.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 3, 2013
ER -


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