riverThe River

by Rebecca Harrison

We left our reflections at the river. We didn’t notice until we got home. My hair was tangle lumps; I tried to comb the willow smells out. My skin felt sun-sore. I looked in my mirror, but I couldn’t see myself. There were woods in my bedroom where I stood. I touched the glass and saw trees brush it. I ran. In every mirror, between sofas, beds, and walls were woods where it should have been me. I thumped my legs to check I was still there.

I met the others in the street. They wanted to get their reflections back. We glanced at the windows we passed and saw trees instead of us. That morning, we’d raced wind shadows through the forest. Our shouts had been summer bright. At the water, we’d wobbled on gnarled roots and poked our reflections with sticks.

This time we walked without words, but we made our feet loud. To show we weren’t trees, we snapped thin branches with our hands. I could only make them bend. The river was grey blinks between the trees. We found our reflections on the water. I touched mine and watched it ripple. We tried to scoop them into our pockets, but they went through our fingers. We waded in them but couldn’t soak them up.

Our reflections stayed on the river. But I still look for mine among the woods in the mirrors.


Rebecca Harrison sneezes like Donald Duck and can be summoned by a cake signal in the sky. Her best friend is a dog who can count.
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