by Megan Snyder-Camp

Megan Snyder-Camp

After a while the 500-year-old village became a secret,
carved into the wall of the forest where it met the Pacific,
eleven long houses and their racks of drying fish, their
dogs. No roads to this town, only boats and the memory of
boaters. Blankets made from woodpecker feathers, cattail
fluff, cedar bark and dog hair woven into a plaid pattern.

At least that's what I remember of the museum's diorama.
When the mud came down the mountain and covered the
village, no one had lived there for years. It was a boater
who remembered, after a while, that the village was gone,
and also that it had once existed. Archaeologists brought
garden hoses to wash the mud off and hooked the hoses up

to the sea. Some of what had been preserved in the mud
was destroyed that day by the water pressure, and then later
most else was ruined by the wind and rain, but at least for
a few weeks they could hold the bones in their hands. The
archaeologists brought their dogs, they lived there a while.


Last updated September 24, 2022