Her Burden Doesn’t Go Silently into the Civil Dawn

It was not my choice
to collapse, says
the bridge in pieces
on the west

bank. A strip
of purple light
strikes a pose
across her face. And

she wonders
how it feels to drop

guilt so easily
on vacant land.

Search to Cross

She gets lost in translation
from West to East
banks. Thinks she’s found optimism
walking beneath the pristine 

new, white 35W Bridge.
Knows she’s haunted
when she gets all the way down
to Bohemian Flats
where a death 

smell lingers in gnarled scraps
of steel still laid out
to dry under scrutiny. The old
bridge’s collapse a stain
that refuses to evaporate 

under any conditions. When she does
discover a passage
up the bluff to a pedestrian bridge
crossing over calm water, 

she sees how she’s changed, how
it was never the river’s fault.

Upper Mississippi Tone (Day 2,426: Take 2)

On a grayscale
from blizzard to moonless
night, she rates you scattered
clouds and the smiling bright
new 35W Bridge.