The Creekside by Julie Larick

Taken by Michal Klajban from Wikimedia Commons.

The muddied creek ebbs past,

meeting at a trickle after leaving the sewer’s agape mouth.

It breaks at each pebble pill and grass blade and hanged flower. 

Buxom bushes and baby trees, luminescent and green, line the creek.

They peer down past the side of the bed, wilting as they kiss the timid water. 

Seeping past, the creek water finally disappears into a tunnel buried in the grass:

another sewer. 

No one knows if it’s ever the same water.

 

On rainy days, the water isn’t shy as

the gray sky coaxes out its hidden torment.

The muddy water roars with every raindrop,

drowning the plants, who sway and moan,

their fearful cries drowned by the creek’s ferocious howl. 

 

Sometimes when I walk in the rain, 

I see a jagged rock perched by the creek’s edge.

It has no face, no joy, no sorrow.

Nothing other than its weight, 

and its piercing, jagged edges.

I never notice it in the sun.

Every time I walk by that rock in the rain,

I want to reach my fingers out to its edges,

to scrape my skin across its hard surface,

to see blood, as thin as the creek’s muddy water.

To see it fall down my palm in droplets, 

and the specks of black rock that flake off.

But I only wince, and continue to wander in the rain. 

And then the rock is gone.

 

As I walk, I wonder how the water changes

everytime it leaves the mouth of the sewer.

I look to the luminescent green 

bushes and baby trees,

to the pebble pills and grass blades and flowers hanged, 

and see how sadly they weep with longing and pain.

They wilt to kiss the creek’s fingers everyday, 

its blood on their lips.

I feel a jolt in my stomach, a tug, and regret,

as I have seen that desperation before.

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