The Teeter-Totter Bridge

5 August 2017

A potpourri of boats
were lined up to wait
for the bridge to open,
a potpourri rowers
slipped past, and beneath
the bridge’s locked mouth,
which, when open, commands
the whole of our town.

It teeters to become the highest
of all structures.  It halts
the main street’s traffic.  It draws
oohs and aahs,
while scores of cameras flash
and click.  There are
thousands of selfies out there
starring the bridge, Mystic’s
most famed personality.

It is, on occasion, stubborn
to the point that it won’t
totter once it has teetered.
At times, it won’t even teeter.
Then vehicles, waiting, begin their dosey-doe
of reverse and u-turn,
to find an alternative route
over the river and through
the wood of traffic.

Here, the river and the road
are in conversation without cease,
but a conversation that goes past
both parties.  The river speaks
a language more refined
than the gruff road,
the river’s language, languid,
the road’s, of fits and starts.
And never will river and road meet
to negotiate an understanding.
(Flooding the road is not understanding.)

Yet it is
the work of the bridge to span
river with road.
And it does so
with a neutrality, par excellence.

Philip Kuepper
(26 July 2017)

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