ON THE ROMANCE OF PARKLAND by J.C. Todd • Cleaver Magazine
Philadelphia from Belmont, hand-tinted engraving, 1873 ON THE ROMANCE OF PARKLAND by J.C. Todd for Erica Upstream, a shadow crosses the oxbow of a river whose flood plains are silted by paternal names of grant-holders. Their slaves tilled the alluvial bottom land, turning up flints and the bones of Lenape. So much loss in the torrents of plunder and order thought to be gain. No wonder the broad plateau that sweeps in folds to the river has gone fallow— such sorrow breaks plow shaft and blade. Better to carpet over the turmoils that clear cut one people’s woodlands to plant another’s prison farm, another’s estate. Better to leave it a meadow of clovers and broadleaves obscuring the blood-rusted soil. To proclaim it parkland, to name it Fairmount as if the elevation were destined to display your picnic aspic, as if the rhizome undernet were meant to cushion your lavender cakes. … chop! chop! read more!