Bridges of Sighs

The afternoon stands longer on a bridge
To look into the river with her one
Magnificence that is abstracted sun

Dorothy Cooper ~ The Bridge

I remember our almost blanked-out faces
etched deep in the lake’s green weed.
Reflecting on reflections. Side by side,
heads conjoined, gazing down at ducks.
The Longbridge deck, black railings blazing
that summer’s afternoon in Regent’s Park.

Speechless. Our thoughts cut through raucous calls
of bird to bird. Underwater plants rippled
against the flow, long strands up-streaming.
Out from under the central span, a small flotilla
curled brown leaves, turning and twirling
breeze-driven and almost sunk
in the wash of waterbirds.
Every colour of feather and sky
running together like poured paint,
oily, wavy streaks, dazzled with sunspots.

And it’s all there still, still the same;
only you have changed, morphed to memory.
My shadow companion over every bridge
we ever crossed. I call each one
the bridge of sighs1.

II
Tower Bridge, so far from Venice
fortified imprisonments of old
there too on the far side. I silently sob
so many locked-away re-capturings of you.
From Waterloo we launched our local strolls
cross Westminster to Southwark
State and Church facing off, the river
as arbiter between. And circle back at Blackfriars
for ale where Dominicans once brewed.
And there we planned an epic trek2
criss-crossing the watercourse, counting off counties
bridge over smaller bridge, the Thames tightening
till the final dip of toes in a Gloucestershire spring.
By London bridge we cast some ashes
a rogue, a friend and after them,
yellow tulips on a Spring tide.
And you yourself where Kew is spanned
an ebb tide taking you East to the sea3

Notes:
1. Bridge of Sighs – called the Ponte dei Sospiri, iconic Venice landmark across the canal to a historic prison
2. With 200 bridges along its length, the Thames Trail from Greenwich Barrier to the source in Gloucestershire is 184 miles (294 Km) long.
3. Poem I wrote as requiem for Martin’s laying of ashes : All Hallows

For Merril's Poetics prompt she has gives us Bridges