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Dispatches: Detroit & Flint

Surely, we’ll be spared. I remind myself of this every day while Detroit’s numbers rise, and FEMA makes a 1,000-bed hospital on the Detroit River because poverty we learn, or are reminded anew, is a comorbidity, and grief comes first to those well-acquainted with it.

Standpipe: Delivering Water in Flint

My latest partner in the ERV speaks with a Dixie drawl. Val is not her real name. Born in Missouri, reared in Flint, she has lived here over forty years. A former nurse in her late fifties or early sixties, she reminds me of my Aunt Doris; the cigarettes, dry barking laugh, dip of the chin inviting flirtation, conspiracy, or both.

“Blood and Water,” by Kelsey Ronan

When my mother fell ill during the Flint water crisis, I drove five hundred miles from Saint Louis, my new home. My mother had been among the skeptics when in April 2014 the city switched its water source from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in an alleged effort to save money.