Posted inEditor's Pick

Graves of the Dead

Ken Otterbourg | The New New South | April 22, 2015 | 2,439 words

The story of a mysterious mound, and what was inside: A new Longreads Exclusive from Ken Otterbourg and The New New South.

Posted inMember Pick, Nonfiction, Story

Graves of the Dead

The story of a mysterious mound, and what was inside.
Photo via Flickr

Ken Otterbourg | The New New South | April 2015 | 10 minutes (2,439 words)

After starting in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River heads north and then quickly loops south, as if realizing the error in its ways. It is a place to get lost and to get found. The river bends and twists here with energy, like a snake caught by its tail. There is an optimism in the current, movement and ambition, married with the skeletons of our built world and those worlds that came before that rise out of the fields and hills along the banks. Sometimes in the grace of dawn these structures appear as nearly flesh and blood. But that hope recedes as the sun climbs over the hill, past the chestnuts and maples. Time and gravity wait to do their parts.

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