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on false spring and the herring run

by Genevieve Smith (United States)

February 2023

Write the World Review

Audio: "on false spring and the herring run," read by Genevieve Smith

Herring fish gather in the shallow stream behind the lake and through the trees. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting on the thick slabs of concrete that seem so out of place this deep in the forest.

CLOSED, proclaims a sign in front of me, TO THE HARVEST OF RIVER HERRING. I want to reassure the creatures, somehow, that I am harmless. I needed to get out of the house.

As I push off out the driveway an hour before, I think of what the poets call false spring. Sunshine beams down and the air carries pollen that makes my nose itch. When I bike past the bay I can just smell the mud and salt of the clam beds. Little purple flowers peek out from a summer home’s flawless lawn. Still, next week the sky will return to grey and those stubborn violets will frost over as if January never left.

Now, I listen to the rush of the herring run and graze my hand along the ice-cold water. The river knows this isn’t quite her time. It will take until June for the lake to be flooded with kids in neon bathing suits and the beaches to overflow with parents counting down the days until back-to-school.

But it is March, and the lake only knows the fish and frogs and me. And, I think with a breeze brushing my winter-pale skin, what a wondrous thing it is.

Genevieve Smith, age 13, is a young writer from Massachusetts. When she isn’t in school or jotting down poetry, she enjoys riding her bike, discovering new music, and spending time with friends.

#Nature          #Home

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Lauren hudd

2/3/23, 12:21 AM

Reading this story was realistic and relatble


2/2/23, 11:27 AM

"I collected little glimpses of the north to hoard away for the future, like treasure" is such a beautiful line!


2/2/23, 11:23 AM

What a fascinating piece!

2/2/23, 5:21 AM

One of my favorite pieces ever published on Write the World!


2/2/23, 4:41 AM

Well done Everett on this powerful piece. I hope you continue to write!


2/2/23, 4:40 AM

Well done Genevieve - what a beautiful and evocative piece of writing!

1/17/23, 2:15 AM

This is so beautiful


1/16/23, 3:52 PM

I love all of it. It’s so real and so many feelings are there.


1/5/23, 6:02 PM

This is amazing. Do not ever stop. That is really inspirational, the whole writing piece made me want to help.


1/3/23, 7:19 PM

This article was absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to live in a country where periods and sex are fairly normalized, but I will never forget to educate myself about the lack of education others have. It pains me to know that in countries like India, girls are still put down about what they where and how they act. It was very brave of you to share your voice, and I commend you endlessly for that.


12/8/22, 7:25 PM

I really love this! I, myself, am not black, but I know of a lot of good black people. Sadly, I will admit, at one time, I used to think of a black community filled with gangs and poverty. But I know now how perfectly capable it is to live together if only we got rid of the stereotype that is so, so wrong. I do hope you accomplish this. This will great for our country.

Sorry but can't share the name

12/7/22, 10:40 AM

Basically I don't know how to react.
All the conservatives should be reading this.........

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