A series about water: #2 of 3

It wasn't always like this

Chalk rings marking years when it was good and we were bad

White like the streaks of cloud across an August sky

Tick mark scars count every abuse on growing red walls 

A scorched blue puddle at their feet.

It wasn’t always like this.


We were young once and powerful too

I swam through you as you ran through me, 

Green scoured your shore,

Luck lined mine

And damn anyone who tried to tame us.


Now your skin is parched gold

Lined and flaking off like scales

You bake in unrelenting sun

While concrete sentries hold you captive

Streaks of opalescent oil fester like a thin veneer

You were fast once,

but now you beat slow,

It wasn’t always like this.


C. L. Brenton