Busch, Frederick

Frederick Busch. Credit: John Hubbard/ Harmony Books Published in The New York Times on the Web, May 28, 1999.

Just like a curse, rain fell for two weeks, hissing on shingles and in nearly naked trees, and the river, dammed by brush and rotted elms, began to rise. Sun sometimes shone, and sometimes the rain held off an hour, but the ground was always spongy, and mud was on everything. The river wound around the hamlet, in some places close to backyards, in others separated from yards by hillocks and cabbage fields. It was a dark autumn, and always cold; the cabbage stank in the early mornings and late at night. And the water table rose in response to the rain and pushed through deep foundation stones and up through cracked cement cellar floors, pooled around furnaces and freezers and water heaters, triggered sump pumps which gargled out the water which ran back into the ground and reappeared inside, rising slowly, in the darkness of the cellars looking black.

– Frederick Busch, “What You Might As Well Call Love”

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