An experiment: two poems

I’m a little surprised I was able to think of anything to write after a 10-hour work day. But I managed. In fact, I tried something slightly different (for me): I took the first poem I wrote, and wrote a more-or-less line-by-line response to it…

The first poem:

Bridge to the living end

This bridge is unfinished
but the train won’t slow down
because I ask it to

If anything, it will accelerate
to spite me
it knows what I’m afraid of

In fact, that’s what it uses
to stoke the fires
that keep it going

And it runs so fast and furious
that old-time villains
won’t go near the tracks—
with or without the damsel in distress

The worst part
is that construction is too far
behind schedule and over budget
to expect that the bridge will be completed
in my lifetime

They keep saying
our infrastructure is crumbling

I get to experience it first-hand
while the car next to us
strays from its lane
into ours

I hope the news crews are coming

The second poem:

Unfinished bridges always end somewhere

The waterway almost doesn’t require a bridge anymore
even an unfinished one

Trains, trucks, buses, and cars alike
can just run straight across the riverbed

They don’t need to slow down

When the officer asked me what I was afraid of
it wasn’t even a surprise

When he said I should have been worried about meeting him
I got scared

Relief at not dying
kept me going the rest of the day

I was only half-dead when I got home

I collapsed into sleep
I don’t remember dreaming

The worst part
is that the bridge will never be completed
in my lifetime

What’s left will continue to crumble

I will get to experience first-hand
what happens when the car in the next lane
strays into mine

There will be no witnesses

(22 August 2018)



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