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Santa Clarita After the Fires

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Valley after valley,
as if some primeval fiend
dragged its talons here
as it fell from the coastal shelf.

Eighty years ago, after the gold
and copper towns ghosted,
before Gunsmoke came to Vasquez Rocks,
William Mulholland’s dam gave out
and flushed the canyons clean
54 miles to Ventura, and the ocean.

We’ve seeped in, bloomed
like thrush in hollows
flecked with rust-capped roofs,
and bone-white stucco.

Now, across the 14’s eight lanes,
vast scabs of sooty earth
and blacker scrub proclaim:
the land finds ways to slough infection.

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David Eadington is a fifth-generation Southern Californian who lives in West L.A. His work has appeared in several places, including Xelas Magazine and Check Other. He was named one of Los Angeles’ Newer Poets in 2010. He is also an avid photographer.

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