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February 9, 2013
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It was a river

Dear Editor:

A million seeps and springs

loop through meadow rills

as far north as Teton glaciers.

They snake their way to the

Green River blocked by dams,

bloated with drought, a weak

sister to the Colorado that

once spewed whitewater

40 feet above boulders,

enraptured kayakers,

terrified them

in Westwater Canyon's

wicked maelstrom

that swallowed bodies

of sheep and cattle,

puked them up again

and again.

Those seeps and springs will

never know their grandfather,

fuel his boisterous roar,

ride his silent tempest.

Mammon is bleeding him dry.

My wife and I lived in Aspen some 40 years ago. We knew Mary Hayes. Her husband, Jim, made jewely for both of us. I visited Aspen and downvalley with my daughter and her partner last summer. I found subdivisions, golf courses and the multitude of derricks lining this once-great river. Hence the poem.

Jay Payne

Bainbridge Island, Wash.

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The Aspen Times Updated Feb 10, 2013 08:40AM Published Feb 9, 2013 11:20PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.