I began as a stream.
Small and insignificant
as if some giant creature dragged a stick through the stones,
and wept in the groove it made.
And so I was born, burbling up from the earth,
I meandered slowly, I laughed and played,
the children would wade in my shallows,
young men would kiss their loved ones on my bank,
never in a hurry, never in any state of need,
I lay peacefully and fed the trees and plants
that festered around me.
And so I stayed.
Then the blue skies clouded over
and burst forth with rain.
I became furious, angry, spun with pain.
I devoured the children who once felt safe.
The boats that rested on my still waters
were plunged to the deep.
Bridges were built to avoid me.
From afar, people stood and admired my beauty.
I was a lion, roaring and hungry,
racing through the winding jungle
to the destination of the sea.
Fish swam within my belly.
And so I stayed.
Winter came, and I froze.
Once thriving with life, my body became vacant.
The waves that once frothed on my surface
were molded statues of past fear.
I was silent, dormant, slumbering.
The children that once feared me
skated upon my icy shell with glee.
Holes were drilled through my skin
to devour my blood that still flowed within.
Though the trees were blackened and blanketed with snow,
the animals hidden somewhere warm,
still, I stayed.
Suddenly the sun, blazing with pride,
burst through the ever stormy sky.
It lapped at my water, it scorched me inside,
and slowly, I withered.
Slowly, I dried.
Stones were stolen from my bed.
My path paved over for a new highway.
Now, traffic buzzes over my bones,
and grandparents show worn photographs
of my glory days.
Everyone assumed I was gone away.
But beneath the cracks in the pavement, my spirit is brewing,
the stumps of the trees fuel me by weeping,
for all this time, though the world thought me gone,
I remained, not dead, but merely sleeping.
And so I stay,
waiting the next time it will rain.