A Stream in the Woods by Andrew Cochrane




Andrew Cochrane was born in Germany and grew up in various places throughout England, Germany and Cyprus. He lives in Southampton where he is a PhD research student at the university, writing a fragmented novel about the grieving process across cultures. His work has appeared in Litro, Postcard Shorts, Every Day Fiction and Kerouac’s Dog, among others.















A Stream in the Woods




If a river is a dream then a stream is a doze, he said, the man in his wellies fetching the dog

            who likes the water around her feet

the way I like the heated tiles in the bathroom: just to stand on.

                        It’s where she belongs, he says. Dozy mare, he says.


                                                She leans her head down to drink, sneezes

at the water before dipping her tongue that curls at the end like a clover, a paper shovel

            so thin it seems it would shred, because being wet

                        is being vulnerable. Or able to be.


(a wren dribbles by, quick twitch of a wing, and leaves an impression in the water

            the shape of a hoof, or a heart with a divot kicked into it)


He pulls her by the collar and there is no resistance left in her old body. Deaf, the man says.

            Nearly blind, the man says. Hopeless, the man says. And he is right – 

hopeless – but he carries a towel wherever they go to dry her feet

                        because she likes the water to stand in.




Andrew Cochrane