Long Bright River by Liz Moore Read Online (FREE)
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What can be said of the Kensington of to-day, with her long line of business streets, her palatial residences and beautiful homes, that we do not know? A City within a City, nestling upon the bosom of the placid Delaware. Filled to the brim with enterprise, dotted with factories so numerous that the rising smoke obscures the sky. The hum of industry is heard in every corner of its broad expanse. A happy and contented people, enjoying plenty in a land of plenty. Populated by brave men, fair women and a hardy generation of young blood that will take the reins when the fathers have passed away. All hail, Kensington! A credit to the Continent—a crowning glory to the City.
—From Kensington; a City Within a City (1891)
Is there confusion in the little isle?
Let what is broken so remain.
The Gods are hard to reconcile:
’Tis hard to settle order once again.
There is confusion worse than death,
Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
Long labour unto aged breath,
Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars
And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.
But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
With half-dropt eyelid still,
Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
His waters from the purple hill—
To hear the dewy echoes calling
From cave to cave thro’ the thick-twined vine—
To watch the emerald-colour’d water falling
Thro’ many a wov’n acanthus-wreath divine!
Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
Only to hear were sweet, stretch’d out beneath the pine.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson, from “The Lotos-Eaters”
Sean Geoghehan; Kimberly Gummer; Kimberly Brewer, Kimberly Brewer’s mother and uncle; Britt-Anne Conover; Jeremy Haskill; two of the younger DiPaolantonio boys; Chuck Bierce; Maureen Howard; Kaylee Zanella; Chris Carter and John Marks (one day apart, victims of the same bad batch, someone said); Carlo, whose last name I can never remember; Taylor Bowes’s boyfriend, and then Taylor Bowes a year later; Pete Stockton; the granddaughter of our former neighbors; Hayley Driscoll; Shayna Pietrewski; Dooney Jacobs and his mother; Melissa Gill; Meghan Morrow; Meghan Hanover; Meghan Chisholm; Meghan Greene; Hank Chambliss; Tim and Paul Flores; Robby Symons; Ricky Todd; Brian Aldrich; Mike Ashman; Cheryl Sokol; Sandra Broach; Ken and Chris Lowery; Lisa Morales; Mary Lynch; Mary Bridges and her niece, who was her age, and her friend; Jim; Mikey Hughes’s father and uncle; two great-uncles we rarely see. Our former teacher Mr. Paules. Sergeant Davies in the 23rd. Our cousin Tracy. Our cousin Shannon. Our father. Our mother.
There’s a body on the Gurney Street tracks. Female, age unclear, probable overdose, says the dispatcher.
Kacey, I think. This is a twitch, a reflex, something sharp and subconscious that lives inside me and sends the same message racing to the same base part of my brain every time a female is reported. Then the more rational part of me comes plodding along, lethargic, uninspired, a dutiful dull soldier here to remind me about odds and statistics: nine hundred overdose victims in Kensington last year. Not one of them Kacey. Furthermore, this sentry reproves me, you seem to have forgotten the importance of being a professional. Straighten your shoulders. Smile a little. Keep your face relaxed, your eyebrows unfurrowed, your chin untucked. Do your job.