The Old Dam – 1912

I remember the cement stairs leading down to the tunnel
I remember the dampness of the walls, the deepening darkness
It was after midnight-
I stood at bottom of the stairwell and at the beginning of the tunnel
I couldn’t see to the other side
I felt the strength of the entire river above me
along with the loneliness of the ghosts
I wondered if they were here
I wanted to believe the stories
The old dam had taken more than one-
The tunnel was built under the dam to house the pumps
which opened and closed the flood gates
I needed to walk the entire length of the tunnel
to open a valve on the very last pump
The hanging lights flickered as I waked underneath them
A few had burned out-
Water trickled down the walls
I could smell and even taste the mustiness
I was forcing myself to feel comfortable
My safety goggles had collected moisture
My ear plugs were irritating me.
I felt agitated. But mostly
I didn’t feel I was alone
I forced myself to look back toward the stairwell
What did I see?
Who knows. Maybe all of these words are fictitious
Or, maybe this is written it exactly as it was

-M. Taggart

4 thoughts on “The Old Dam – 1912

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