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From a Bridge

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I saw my mother standing there below me
On the narrow bank just looking out over the river

Looking at something just beyond the taut middle rope
Of the braided swirling currents

Then she looked up quite suddenly to the far bank
Where the densely twined limbs of the cypress

Twisted violently toward the storm-struck sky
There are some things we know before we know

Also some things we wish we would not ever know
Even if as children we already knew      & so

Standing above her on that bridge that shuddered
Each time the river ripped at its wooden pilings

I knew I could never even fate willing ever
Get to her in time



Poem copyright ©2011 by David St. John, whose new collection, The Auroras, is forthcoming from Harper Collins. Poem reprinted from Poetry, July/August 2011, by permission of David St. John and the publisher.
Source: Poetry (July/August 2011)
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From a Bridge

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