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WHEN THINGS WEAR AWAY OTHER THINGS by Michael Melgaard • Cleaver Magazine
WHEN THINGS WEAR AWAY OTHER THINGS by Michael Melgaard Moira played with the ocean, chasing the waves as they pulled back into themselves. Her pink rain boots splashing through the water were the only colour on the wet, rocky shore. She turned to her dad and laughed while a wave came in behind her. It covered her feet and was over the top of her boots before she noticed. She watched the water pulling away and then at her dad. She started to cry. David walked over and picked her up. He told her it was okay and just water, then turned her away from the ocean and asked, “Do you see how they built a wall there?” He held her on his hip in the crook of one arm and pulled her boots off with the free hand. She was trying to tell him about her feet being wet between exaggerated sobs. He said, “Over there. Look. Do you know why they would build a wall on the beach?” She didn’t say anything, but did look where he was pointing her. David went on, “A long time ago, before they built the wall, there was a graveyard here, where we’re walking.” He dumped the water out of one boot, then the other. “Back then where we’re standing was underground.” He moved her onto his other hip and tugged off her socks. “But the waves eroded the ground away.” She asked, “What’s ‘eroded’?” He turned back to the water. “See how every time a wave comes up it pulls some rocks back with it? That’s eroding. It’s when things wear away other things. Eventually, the waves will wear through the wall and wash away the city.” Moira looked at the wall and then the ocean and then at her dad. She asked, “Really?” “Yup.” He said, “Hold these,” and handed her the boots. He rang out her socks as best he could. “Eroding takes a long time, though. Hundreds of years. But anyways, back before the wall was built the waves were eroding the ground, wearing away the graveyard’s dirt, and you know what’s under the dirt in a graveyard?” “Coffins?”