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Photos by Nina Heiser

Nina Heiser is a writer and amateur photographer living in central Florida. Her poetry has been published in Tuck Magazine; Cadence, the Florida State Poets Association Anthology, Screaming from the Silence, the Vociferous Press anonymous anthology, The first chapter of her novel Tin’s Bended was published in the tenth edition of Embark Literary Journal. Most recently her poems and photographs were published in Of Poets & Poetry, Vol 47.3. 

The River House

by Nina Heiser

We found the moose bones laid out so perfectly in the muddy shallows of the beaver pond on Isabel’s trail at the end of our first summer when enchantment was the order of each and every day.


Ten days we stayed in the cabin, on the edge of the cliff overlooking the cold river, jumbled with boulders, and it rained every day. It rained until the roads washed out and the river roared through the night playing a duet with the livelier tempo of rains on the tin roof. 


We pushed the two couches together and took pleasure in our fortressed bed. We took refuge in this seasonal shelter, with its walls of double-screened windows surrounding its one square room.


That one day the sun appeared in the early morning, we hiked to the barn and rode the old horses down the path. We cantered through virgin forest where once trains had run in the days of the great war, when men rolled logs down the river.  There it was we found wildflowers and chanterelles, and each other.


Today we walk through the mangrove forest, stepping over tangled roots, to the shore where the inlet waters meet the open ocean, and we celebrate our many years together. 


Thirty-five years ago today, we stood in a small chapel, your two children at our side, and one more on her way. Gently, we said our vows. 


And now in this time of love and Coronavirus, we are as careful as marriage has taught us to be. We know we are two voices in the same piece; we don’t have to play the same notes to find our harmony.


Discordant times may have been. But, oh, love do you remember days of rain by the river in the forest all those years ago?

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