For fifty years

Ravenna Creek

was diverted

into the underground Seattle sewer line

until a group

of concerned citizens mobilized

to restore it

to let it once again

warm up in the sun

as it traveled

from Green Lake

to the sound.

The technical term

for this

is daylighting.

I am reading the sign

that the parks department

put up, to teach me this,

it has been a long day,

I am tired

of wondering if I will ever

shine

with consistency of my own

or if I'll only ever glimmer

when someone else

points a light down

into my darkness

and there

on a stupid parks department sign

is what salvation

sounds like to me.

I am not in the mood.

This makes a great sermon

for someone else,

I can hear it already

in my best preacher voice:

"There are streams

running through you

and maybe they have been

diverted

into slimy

underground pipes

but they are still there,

still coursing through

the veins of my soul

and you can, even now

daylight them!"

I walk into the cool shadows

my hands are hot and heavy

from carrying this goddamn theophany

but my mind keeps preaching

to someone more in need of grace than me —

isn't there always someone more in need of grace than me?

"The daylighting process will take time.

There will be resistance.

Beware the mall developers

selling an easy

re-surface project

they'll pave you over

and leave you dry

there are no quick fixes

only digging —

down, up, and out

until the ground

is kissed again

wet, sloppy, and alive,

I know it's hard sometimes

to feel the currents

within us

but listen!

at the manhole covers

at the sealed up places

where you might climb down

into yourself

can't you hear the splashing

down there?"

The Ravenna Creek

is still underground

south of 55 th street.

Like me,

it is only partially

daylighted,

But I am watching the water

disappear into the darkness of the grate,

and seeing

only the possibility

of glimmering in the sun

all the way

to the sea.

Rev. Katy Shedlock co-pastors Creators' Table, a new congregation in West Central Spokane, and competed with Spokane Poetry Slam at the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Saddle shoes are her favorite.

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