Notes on the Secret History and Life of Padden Creek

1.

On an undated map
published
by a Seattle
map company,
Padden Creek
and its tributary
Connelly Creek
are not shown,
though other creeks
in Bellingham
are shown.
It’s as though
they didn’t exist,
never existed.
I found
the map
in Aladdin’s Antiques
downtown;
a previous
owner / seller
penciled in
late 40’s
on the water-stained
front cover.

2.

Since 1892, I read
on a Parks
Department sign,
a 2,310-foot-long
section
of Padden Creek
has flowed
underground
in a brick pipe
called “Padden
Creek Tunnel.”

Just east
of 22nd Street
off Old Fairhaven
Parkway today
I stood looking
at the grate-covered
brick-walled pipe
Padden Creek
flows into,
noted
how the birdcalls
stopped,
how life
paused.

3.

Padden Creek:
a creek, buried
partially
for well over
a hundred years
but not dead

a cradle of life
at its eastern
beginning
and at its western
end

in its middle
a creek returning
slowly
so slowly
to life.

Daylighting
the creek
is planned,
pending funding.

4.

Padden Creek
took me
into its confidence —

the creek
longs
for the full
reveal

the creek
longs
for daylight

the creek
longs
to remake
its history

the creek
longs
to reshape
its course

the creek
longs
to welcome
life back

the creek
longs
to welcome
salmon back

the creek
longs
to chart
every map

the creek
longs
for one wish

the creek
longs
to have
its life back.

~*~

Andrew Shattuck McBride
NaPoWriMo 2014 ~ Day 16

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About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Can We Talk?, NaPoWriMo ~ 2014, Poets, Samples, Trail Offerings, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Notes on the Secret History and Life of Padden Creek

  1. susanissima says:

    Engaging, honorable poem, Andy. Love the historical beats and the moments…like looking at an old document placed on a modern coffee table.

  2. So lovely, Andy! I like the long form, short lines. And these lines: Padden Creek / took me / into its confidence…”.

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