Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PAD Day 28: Why Bridges Matter

Today's prompts from Poetic Asides and NapoWriMo:
(1) Write a "matter" and/or "antimatter" poem, and
(2) Write a poem about a bridge.

I've already written one to fit the second prompt (Day 23), and I know I've written a poem for a previous year's PAD challenge called "Matter/Antimatter". (Did Robert recycle this prompt?)  Anyhow, I decided to use "matter" in a different definition, and came up with this list poem.

Why Bridges Matter

We cross them when we come to them
and must be careful not to burn them behind us.
They may carry us over troubled waters,
then it's just water under the bridge.

We use them to bridge the gap, whether it's a river,
a crevasse, or bad teeth. They blew up the one
on the River Kwai, hanged a man off the Owl Creek,
took pictures of covered ones in Madison County,
played Pooh-sticks off the one in Hundred Acre Wood.
One led to the fantasy kingdom of Terebithia,
Billy Joe McAllister jumped from the Tallahatchie,
and George Bailey contemplated the same fate,
till Clarence fell in the freezing river and changed his life.

We can drive across the Golden Gate, jog across
the Brooklyn, kiss under the Bridge of Sighs,
move the London to Arizona. But the Tacoma Narrows,
that object lesson in engineering,
snapped like a rubber band in the wind,
and Antietam's was soaked with Union blood.

All of them mean something to us, either a path
over adversity, a way somehow impeded,
or simply how to get from here to there.

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