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I was walking along the shore line of the Mississippi River yesterday afternoon.

Fairly close to the Melvin Price Lock and Dam near Alton.I came upon a strong smell of rotting and started to look around me. I was surrounded by pallid, lifeless fish. In the evening light, they took on a slightly yellow hue, but otherwise their bleached whites, gray and browns blended perfectly with the stony ground. They looked as they might look against the river bed, but now, waterless, immobile, their eyes collapsed and sunken, they were being subsumed into the earth. Only briefly would they retain their form before the flesh decays, leaving only bones until the next river rise washes those away.Left, perhaps, by fishermen, these stinking corpses seemed to take a on strange beauty in the low sunlight, a reminder of the great cycle of life and death.