Tuesday, November 27, 2012

St. George Creek

Cars rush over the asphalt, drivers pushing the pedal
down to get through the amber.
Oblivious to the buried waterway below
strata of pavement
packed gravel
then peaty dark soil
sliced through with a corrugated steel culvert
that contains a tiny stream.
Children cross another artery
bright backpacks clashing with the fluorescent vest & stop sign of the crossing guard
pouring into the gravel school yard
contained too by metal, but this time permeable chain link.
The water flows under them
then a few streets downhill,
beyond laundromats & past bathtubs stacked in the yard of Andrew Sheret Ltd.
the stream gains speed in its dark confines
below the traffic circles.
Even before the stream was buried under progress
before cars
before asphalt,
before crosswalks,
before chain link,
the people who harvested its salmon
left it unnamed.
But not forgotten.

Krista the stonemason, who set each stone & piece of scrap plumbing
to create a mosaic in the centre of the intersection at 10th Avenue,
The designers of the blue-dominated street mural painted along the patchwork pavement
between 6th & 7th Avenues
& the dozens of people who painted it on the asphalt one sunny July day
Greta, sharing maps, books & local history on a walking tour,
& I, leaning into my turn as I bike down St. George, turning onto 6th
briefly catching the sound of the creek through a manhole cover,

The False Creek Watershed Society & many local residents are part of a project called the St. George Rainway which aims to daylight the stream. The City of Vancouver seems interested in the idea, so maybe the stream will see the light of day again.

*I wrote this during & after a creative writing workshop, "Four Ways to Write Your Neighbourhood" at the Vancouver Public Library. Kudos to Sierra for letting me know about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...