Poems Of Remembering: Mill River Flood of 1874 – 7:30 am

Mill River Flood1

My community is launching a series of community projects to commemorate the 150th anniversary of a horrific dam break that swept a wall of water and debris for miles, killing many people and destroying much of the communities in the flood’s wake.

A local group of historians and community members working on the events this entire month have created a fascinating StoryMap, and I am using pins on the map to inspire poems of remembering. The pins are based on time of day, and the unfolding of the disaster, hour by hour.

Mill River Flood: 7:30 am

No time even
to saddle his horse,
George Cheney fled
the mountain, quick,
galloping on a mission,
and still Onslow Spelman
wouldn’t listen,
still, he stood at the door
of his factory of buttons,
arguing the reality –
the dam was breaking
and disaster was coming,
far faster than George Cheney
ever could ride

Peace (and remembering),

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