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MUSED Literary Magazine.

The San Gabriel Aquaduct

Marianne Brems

Among a tangle of
ramshackle horse stables,
sprawling water reclamation plants,
towers strung with high tension wires,
and the overflow from auto lots,
lie the remains of the San Gabriel River
confined to a cavernous concrete canyon,
thief of cuckoos, brush rabbits, beetles,
and anadromous fish.

Complete with hydraulic dams,
rusting grocery carts,
and splintered plastic bottles
a thirty-eight mile aquaduct,
to a diverse riparian habitat,
waits with a meager river
for a spine
to defuse the next flood.

Still this harnessed river,
its gold greedily pilfered away,
its flow altered for protection,
its aggregate mined for profit,
its life blood diverted for urban use
offers a venue
for an eclectic suburban playground
where cyclists sport their lycra,
families feast on carnitas,
and youngsters chase soccer balls.