Poetry Porch: Poetry


The Hornsey Lane Bridge (1897 - )
by Joan Michelson

This Sunday’s “Jumper,” not uncommon,
brought a ladder to assist him. A father
of three boys, we wonder why this plan
was harboured and if he saw a purpose
beyond his own removal from the city,
his family, the world we know, this earth.

On the bridge, propped against the wall,
a wall high-spiked with a rail that rolls,
and reinforced with a skin of mesh,
we find wilting flowers and a glint of cards.
“See you when the stars are twinkling, Rich.”
“We’ll miss you, Richie. Love you ever, Russ.”

We stop a moment shaken by our thoughts,
look up at the black iron tips, picture
how he must have had to gather force
to rise and leap—his back to the deep view
of St. Paul’s dome—and then to know, mid-air,
like Icarus, that nanosecond’s grace.

Copyright © 2012 by Joan Michelson.