I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Alan Davis grew up in Louisiana, where, according to a sign in front of Poche’s Market, “everything on a hog is good.” He now lives in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he teaches in the MFA program at Minnesota State University and serves as senior editor of New Rivers Press. He is the author of two story collections, Rumors from the Lost World and Alone with the Owl (both New Rivers Press), and has recently completed a third.
I could have forgiven him for that — I knew I had done a bad thing — but I couldn’t forgive him for what he did next, at least not until years later, when my own legacy as a flawed father helped me understand how love exists alongside anger.
There was a point, during the disaster, when everybody thought that the hurricane had passed and the worst was over. Then the levees broke — not from storm surge, engineers now think, but because the soil beneath the concrete walls was too weak. Nobody was there to help when the water started rising — a foot a minute in some places, I’ve been told.