by Gay Williford

There’s a river right by the edge of town.
It did not always flow so deep or fast.
Once it ran gently by a small, outlying village
that was inundated per government order.

A nearby dam built to control waters
brought evictions, sudden and wrenching,
families desperate to stay were uprooted
from this, their forever home place, their heritage.

Today it runs swift, broad and deep,
the modest hamlet submerged, ghostly,
crumbled foundations and wavering tree stems
the haunting remains of what once was.

Ferries, barges and pleasure craft
ride the rapid currents now, unaware
that below was a one-time environment
of people whose lives were drastically altered.

At present, an unknown gravesite to most,
waters rush above spaces once beloved,
homes cherished, farmlands devotedly tilled—
a community drowned in the name of progress.


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