"Bird Blind," Fourth Genre, vol. 10, no. 2 (fall 2008).
On the far south side of Chicago in the Calumet River valley, once a thriving industrial engine of steel production, now empty and discarded, there is a wasteland—a tattered expanse crisscrossed with railroad tracks, unfinished roads, abandoned steel factories, and a backwards flowing river. Wetlands persist, heavy with slag and toxins absorbed for over a century. They are the keepers of the unwanted, swallowing hollowed-out cars, beer cans, broken bottles, scrap metal, drywall, a shoe. On one of the many railroad tracks radiating out of this place along the Calumet River, police recovered the bones of a child. This drab early spring migrating birds arrive and begin to make nests as they prepare to birth and raise their young.
Purchase the issue here.