Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Watching the Bridge Come Down; A Tribute."

(I haven't posted any poetry here in a while... largely because my writing-output mostly veers in alternate directions these days. I do have a couple pieces in the pipeline for attempted publication at the moment... but here's one that I wrote off-the-cuff after watching a Portsmouth, NH landmark, the Memorial Bridge, being dismantled last week. Figured I'd post it here as a sort of an homage.)

Watching the Bridge Come Down;
A Tribute.

We take a pilgrimage to the port,
It seems like it just has to happen.
There’s something symbolic, as we’re
Standing in the crowd on the pier,
Watching the trusses taken apart,
Broken down and placed onto the barge below.
We’re loudly cracking jokes, saying how
We want to see an explosion,
Something cathartic,
Pissing off the old-people,
Keeping their odd and silent vigil. 
But that’s our role here,
As we retreat to a bar to follow
Our own sort of vigil with beer...
Our own sort of tribute.
This is our city, our pier,
Our bridge, our bricks,
Our own pieces of rusted, incompetent steel.
And none of us want to say
(but we’re all thinking)
That there’s something important
About the idea that the 
Bridge isn’t burning 
Or exploding
But being gradually taken apart, 
To be casually, slowly, cast down the stream,
That resonates for us in a way where
We don’t really want to
Verbally express the connections
We can’t help but draw in our minds. 


Shawnte said...

Glad I noticed this, Bernie.
I loved what it built toward. Not only that your conclusions weren't what I was expecting, but also that they weren't fully explained, so that it allowed my own mind to wander and try building its own bridge over those tangential currents.

Bernard P. Provencher LeVautour said...

Glad you picked up on that, Shawnte, thanks! Definitely much of what I was aiming for here... I wanted to pay homage to the landmark, but also speak a bit to the more personal sense of what was going on for those of us there, mentally and conversationally, in a more ambiguous emotional sense, in terms of the metaphors we were making of the experience...