The street under construction, but the vendors around the corner
on the banks of the river were wetting feet and produce,
So they moved back onto the newly cemented road
And the waters rose a little higher.
First the house on the end of the street, building an extra platform
So the water couldn't touch them as they slept
But the waters rose, a little higher.
House by house it advanced, store by store
Street by street, curb by curb, conquering one structure at a time
Forcing relocation, then relocation again
Until even the main street was impassable
Homes unlivable moved to rented rooms, then to abandoned buildings
And still the waters rose, a little higher.
The bridge shut down to all but foot traffic
And smaller, narrower plank bridges were set up in place of sidewalks,
A slim course for the stream of people to pass
Attenuating balance above waters filled with
Fish and trash and splashing mer-children
Who went home at night with itchy eyes and irritated skin
From the sluggish waters that couldn't sweep away the filth
Fast enough, to sleep on damp boards above musty solutions,
Until at last
it started to recede
in the same way it came
one decimeter at a time
leaving a miry footprint
and plastic bags.
10 meters down now and