Following the Fenton River (a eulogy)

My best friend and I followed the Fenton
To Mansfield Hollow Dam
When I was 8 or 9.
Beautiful memory.

Beautiful stream.
The water was weak-coffee-colored
(From oak leaves
Steeping in the slower

Muddy-bottomed bends)
But clean. We waded
Most of the way barefoot,
Slipping on the algae-coated

Stones, losing our balance,
Playful as otters.
Summer was the time
For following streams.

We would drink the water
When we got thirsty.
We never brought a snack,
Never thought of it.

We needed our hands free
To throw stones, carry spears
Shore up rocks to deepen pools.
May the Fenton rest in peace.
Check out Charlie Vidich’s H2Woe to learn how the University of Connecticut’s thirst for water killed the Fenton River.