Burmese Girl on Richmond

long slender legs
close in on faux heaven

what boys wouldn’t give
to get there

what girls wouldn’t give
to be there

promise of a new land
promise of new love

mama’s lessons from Mae La
don’t work in America

refugee camps are for waiting
Buffalo is for living

© 2013-2019 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

Scajaquada

emerging
from its poison culvert
it enters Forest Lawn

running through
Olmsted’s sculpted ravine
undisturbed only here
not channeled
not tunneled
still flowing over 400 million
year old dolomite

at the top of the hill
above Serenity Falls
the Chief lay reposed
lullabied for eternity
by a gentle cascade

in Moffett’s Grove
two sunbathers
in appropriately
black bikinis
recline safely away
from the leer
of living men
with only male
finches and cicadas
within earshot

two miles downstream
Philip Kenjockety
lived creekside with his family
just northeast of the trinity

delta, Black Rock, and island
sanctuary they said
for birds and spirits

by his Seneca name
Ska-dyoh-gwa-deh
“Beyond the Multitude”
the creek would later be called
famed panther hunter
the refugeed grandson
of the vanquished Kah-Kwahs
whose father came to lead
the conquering Seneca

the site of the family wigwams
was later zoned “M-2”
General
Industrial
District
benzene, toluene, xylene
lead, cyanide, and PCB’s
soaked the soil
leached the creek bed &
settled in the flesh of wildlife

upstream human waste
is diverted further underground
through the Delavan Drain

sourced through glacial deposits
re-energized from a subterranean lake
how much water
to wash away a century of sin

© 2017-2019 Brian Brown-Cashdollar

b kwik

running through b kwik
sweaty hair
football gear
spikes clicking across
Imperial tile

tore-up turf
trailing behind
grabbing milk
grabbing bread

priced for convenience
priced
for the working class

sometimes
at checkout
a “secret” treat

dad waits in the car
window down
WKBW on the radio
in the strip plaza
sited to block competition
since the Super Duper
exploded under suspicious
circumstances

bricks blown for blocks
on Mother’s Day
as the family business
succumbed to market forces

we head for home
with what we need
oblivious to the desperation
that drove a son to arson

when he finally had to admit
there was no longer space
for a six aisle grocery

© 2018-19 Brian Brown-Cashdollar