One Single Impression: Underground

There is a river
Running underground in Waterbury.
It didn't start there but was put in its place
By wise men reading from the ancient script for
Planning and progress.

The river is an open secret to those in the know,
Those who have been there for a while
(Even if they come from Massachusetts or Maine),
Or at least are in the habit of drinking wine after hours
In local dining establishments in the historic district--
Which, conveniently is also the technology zone,
Where the reputable restaurants are--
With the right people at the right time.

If you have to ask, you are not on the inside,
Which is the right side.
You don't know where anything used to be;

And, really, should we take the time to explain
As we stand at the window and wonder
How all this progress brought so much traffic
Through what used to be the front yard?

It's how it is in the little ville the rivers of which
Once long ago measured its pulse and prosperity.

When a foreigner stomps his foot near where the river
Used to be and hears an echo,
He might wonder if trolls or goblins have carved a home

He will have no idea how deeply
He disturbs the pulse of an ancient city
As gifted in forgetting
As in remembering,
As in holding on.

One Single Impression

Post a Comment


  1. interesting how there are layers of cities and civilizations. I remember visiting the underground in Seattle, Rome and Copenhagen even Iceland's capital this past yera. Amazing. Love your humorous poems...

  2. Sandy, this is a profund poem, with many shades. Translated into Italian, surely I would understand it better in its details.

  3. This is deep in so many ways - socially, historically. Excellently done.

  4. Very interesting take on the prompt,well crafted.Enjoyed reading this.

  5. You touch upon many things here Sandy. There's a sadness about things that have gone underground. And technology sure is a double edged sword. Good write.

  6. Wow, a poem with so many levels. You have me mulling again.

    Tulsa is like that. We have a wonderful drainage system that is the envy of the world, and also a dark past with Indian removals and swindles, KKK, the worst race riot ever in America, segregation, and busting labor unions, Stuff that Chamber of Commerce doesn't publicize.

  7. thank you for walking me through your backyard ...

  8. Ancient civilizations buried underground are gift. Our roots.

  9. A very well-worded tale. Many-layered, too.
    Best, M.

  10. I have no idea how I came here today- but I love what you did with this prompt. I love how you took us on a joureny underground. The town I live in is in the process of burying itself.

  11. There is something so mystical and magical in this underground city and the people who once inhabited it. As always, thanks for the inspiration Sandy.

  12. Liking your prose poem, Sandy.
    "With the right people at the right time... [on] the right side" sounds like the place to be.

    Our San Antonio, Texas, is built on a river. The amount of water is always constant with tour and dining boats traversing this part. The rest of the water is diverted into another channel. Parts of the downtown controlled river run underground.

    Along the river are mostly hotels and restaurants. The 'Riverwalk' area is designed mainly for tourism.

  13. Anonymous1:51 PM

    interesting thoughts ..!!

  14. What a delightful tale! I can't help but ask: Is it true?

    Underground Streams

  15. The story is, indeed, true. There is a river under Waterbury. And Waterbury is home to these people.


Thanks for being here.