• BOWKER CREEK

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I go to the nearest creek to check my pulse today

to remind myself what alive sounds like.


I strain to listen but I cannot hear my heartbeat over the boom 

of the cityscape; 

Where sirens out-sing songbirds

where the steady rumble of rubber rolls upon asphalt

drowning out the sound of water on it’s way to the ocean. 


I walk for hours to find Bowker Creek buried beneath parking lots, 

briefly resurrected in parks, before diverted again, 

all the while reaching her fingertips desperately, blindly

is search of the sea.

My feet fall on cement poured into the shape of a sidewalk

which makes my legs ache in a way that days spent walking through a forest

Never has. 


I crawl under overgrown blackberries and over a stone wall 

just to sit with the creek.

I place two fingers on her wrist 

and feel for anything. 

There,

where shopping carts outnumber salmon

I mourn with a creek who lost her way;

empty of the coho she once birthed and raised,

then welcomed home again after so long at sea.


There, 

I grieve

for all the streams swallowed by hungry cities.

There, on the cement banks of Bowker Creek

I grieve

for all the children who will grow up thirsty.

April Bencze