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The Color Green This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      I trudged downthe muddy path toward the derelict old barn. Some underground watersource wet the dirt until it was as sludgy as the rancid marsh. Betweenthe marsh and the salt-poisoned bay a few eucalyptus trees struggled tosurvive among the skeletons of their family.

Those trees and thelong-forgotten barn were the only reminders of a failed way of life. Nowonder the inhabitants of this desolate place left. It was infested withmosquitos and biting flies, broiling in the summer and harsh in thewinter.

I could feel a storm brewing. The grass was brown andwind-blown. The wind slicing through the cattails was a lonely, lostwail. To my right was the bay, sullen and an angry red-orange. Saltislands poked through the outgoing tide like tiny iceburgs. Years past,salt ponds had condensed the salt content in this corner of the bayuntil it poisoned itself with its own water.

Not looking where Iwas going, I tripped on a half-buried bucket and fell face first intothe water. Spitting salt, sand and sticks, I sat up. The eucalyptustrees were coming alive and years of neglect were peeling from thebuilding like old paint. An ancient water tank was rising from thedepths of a salty pond like a sea monster. Silty brown water poured outof shrinking holes and white paint was bleeding out of its poroussurface like a squeezed sponge. A rusty pipe mended itself, sheddingrust like a snake skin. The bay was a tranquil, muted green-blue. Iblinked to clear the salt from my eyes.

The ocean was orangeagain and the trees mostly dead; all that was left of the farm was thecrippled barn. I must have swallowed too much salt, but it didn't matterif the glimpse into the past was true or an illusion. This place hadonce held hope for someone. It still holds hope today. I realized itwasn't as desolate as I had first thought. Geese and ducks flying southoften stop here to rest and the poisoned bay is slowly healing itself.The marsh that was cut back for the salt ponds is slowly reclaiming whatit lost. Fish swim where the river meets the marsh. An owl rests in anold tree. Life is abundant.

Time will heal all the problems. Ifelt like a colorblind person seeing the color green. I understood whythe farm was built and why it was abandoned. The storm that had beenbrewing suddenly blew away, leaving a clear, blue sky with hope on thehorizon.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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