In those days, between the megacanes, some of us would be sent out into the searing heat to inspect the panels and batten down whatever had broken loose. Something was always broken.

It could’ve been worse. I wasn’t in the press gangs that cleared Columbia’s dikes of the dead and debris, who choked on the vile smoke of the raging bonfires. Though I’ll never forget that rotten stench.

Jamar handed me his wrench. “But this is our home. We hold back the ocean.”

My brother dreamed impossibilities of recovering the lost, while misunderstanding my yen for a tomorrow and peace.

Picture by Christa Lohman.


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