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