Bridge Thrill

After two days of TV airlifts and wheels-to-the-sky

and highways sluiced by rivers, cement in chunks,

 

you silence the raging media—your own flood-wreck’s next.

Where are the schooners to tack across the prairie,

 

one cumulus huff at a time? Noah’s finishing bean harvest,

Noah has taxes to pay, Noah doesn’t know stem from stern.

 

You stock up on water, pull toilets, fill bags with sand,

threshold by threshold, but mostly

 

visit the liquor store. The Someday bridge collects a crowd

until late, a hundred citizens, drinks in hand,

 

stare down at the gravel, hoping for a trickle.

I’ll just take my pants off, says the divorcee, I’ll wade to work.

 

She earns her applause. You drive eight miles upriver

to see trees skirted that high, their vigil over, to hear

 

the cornstalks suck at the floodwater.

Six thousand lightning strikes touch ground

 

but nothing wet-eth from the sky. The crowd drinks in a hush,

awaiting electrocution, the crowd drops

 

its rubber duckies when—that caress—

 

 

Terese Svoboda’s When The Next Big War Blows Down The Valley: Selected and New Poems was just published, and Anything that Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet appeared in January 2016.

Issue #57 April 2016
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