Friday, March 26, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: The Bridge

This poem ... makes me want to rewrite it.  Maybe that's presumptuous, I don't know.

Here is the original:

And that one inspired this one:


From the apartment window, I see the bridge that crosses the river, carrying tourists from one bank to the other.  Wide, sandy-stone, thick columns supporting the stone edges upon which people perch themselves, taking pictures to post for their families back in whatever country from which they come, and they come, here, to this picturesque bridge on this picturesque river in this picturesque town.

Every morning, as I get dressed for work, I look out the window at that bridge.  Each morning, there, in the middle of the throng of tourists, I see my father.   He looks up at me.   He is wearing that blue windbreaker, his favorite, even though it is threadbare and one of the sleeves looks like it wants to come off.  He sees me at the window, and he lifts his left hand and waves to me.  He is smiling and the wind musses his thick black hair

... and then he disappears as the world explodes, silently, into a cloud of thick gray smoke, one instant and an eternity before the roar shatters my ears and the wave shatters the window against my face.

Then I blink, and I am back again to this window, looking out at this bridge.  The tourists are still taking pictures of themselves in the early morning.  A boat meanders from under the bridge.

There are no terrorists here.  There is no one to blow up this bridge in this picturesque town.  The only thing that I have brought with me here are a few scars along my cheek, now fading.  You can barely even see them.

And my father.  I have brought him along.  I see him each morning.



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