Gentle Creek

Written by: Bill Doggett

A gentle stream flows out of Glenburne pond,
north bound waters feed the Susquehanna.
Meandering highway six eleven,
through Dalton, Factoruville to Tunkhannock.

Timely announcements keep informing us,
"Beware!  Alert!   The dam may break!  Alert!"
From the rising depth of the little pond
surging past a caution to record levels.

Purging water stems the mounting pressure,
then peeks, to purge once more as tension builds.
The bells will toll this night, when all must leave.
The stream rises along it's shallow path.

Widening this too narrow stream basin,
water flows over then through the dam.
Olden wood and part askew, the dam holds.
The creek rises filling up it's channel.

This gentle stream that once bore much new life,
became the shuttle for countless debris.
Not quite a sewer, it carried overflow,
from septic tanks breaching its narrow banks.

At six to seven inches, a boot full,
the normal depth of all Tunkhannok creek.
Many years past since since some have sat and fished,
then, human waste has brought about decay.

Now storms have come and many played this course
but, none have left with quite so muck discourse.
At two and three, it was a sight to see.
When eight to ten, it frightened most brave men.

Twelve feet high it snapped trunks of ancient trees,
willows along these banks flourished for years,
sixty feet tall, thirty wide, out of sight,
unseen, lost, not one tiny leaf remains.

It cleared once gentle banks at fourteen feet.
Eerie sounds produced by water confined
within these walls, now roared forth pouring out.
Chilling bones and bristling wet, matted hair.

Withdrawing with water in my boots,
retreating again when it went knee high.
Then higher to my car, still water rose,
swallowing a new, four high pole fence.

Leaving on muddy roads that follow streams,
forged by the foot of ancient warriors,
hardened by the hoofs of pinto ponies
and the axle wheels of covered wagons.