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On this side of the mountain | Zero Readers

On this side of the mountain

by | Issue #2, Issues

the air was still. On his knees,
arms grimy up to the elbows,
the old man squinted to survey

untouched terrain. His steady hand
wiped off a trickle of sweat, and I watched
as he cut inch-thick tubes of copper

for another void-filling project. Hundreds
of tiny, bleached half-shells lay scattered in
the dirt — an odd occurrence, origins unknown.

He secretly believed that the shells
had been there for centuries, only resurfacing
when the time was right. Around us, drunken

swarms of avocado trees leaned, wilted
in the heat as the swollen fruit blackened
and fat flies hovered in giddy anticipation.

The old man sighed, defeated.
The sound was ancient
and familiar to me.

Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She tweets @MelodyOfMusings