Billy was 12 when he first heard the river’s song. His mother saw it in his eyes and was prepared when, at 16, he heeded its call. After that she saw him once a year. Each time his face was carved deeper by weather, adventure and sin.
He’d became a man too soon. His body was hard as a rock and he had the scars to show how often he had to prove it. Sometimes he came home with a broken heart. Sometimes with the clap.
Always older. Always sadder. Always back to the river’s. She buried him at 30.