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

32 Comments on “Bridges of Sighs

  1. Oh–this is so moving, beautiful, personal, and yes visual. I felt like I was traveling to all these places and bridges with you.
    These lines especially: “My shadow companion over every bridge
    we ever crossed. I call each one
    the bridge of sighs1.” And those final lines.
    Thank you so much for this beautiful poem.

    Like

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous and oh so moving, Laura. I clutched my heart at; “only you have changed, morphed to memory. My shadow companion over every bridge we ever crossed.” 😢 💝

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  3. This poem touched me deeply. This pulled my heart strings:

    My shadow companion over every bridge
    we ever crossed. I call each one
    the bridge of sighs1.

    And those ending lines with memories of the journey.
    The whole poem is amazing to read.

    Like

  4. Wow! Laura, such a great creative poem. I love how you start and cross the bridge and finally let him float out to the sea! Such a deep heartfelt piece!

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  5. I could picture the places you described here having walked them myself. Reminds me to treasure each moment – we never know how long we have to walk together.

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    • glad to know the visuals rang true! so many walks and bridges crossed in our decades – every moment is to be treasured but in reality we only remember some of the times

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Truly splendiforous, Laura.

    Every colour of feather and sky
    running together like poured paint,
    oily, wavy streaks, dazzled with sunspots.

    *swoon*


    David

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your poem took me to places I have been many times but long ago, Laura, some with loved ones I have lost. The opening stanza is photographic, with the ‘faces etched deep in the lake’s green weed. Reflecting on reflections.’ The details in the second stanza are more artistic, particularly the lines:
    ‘Every colour of feather and sky
    running together like poured paint,
    oily, wavy streaks, dazzled with sunspots.’
    I love the thought of a ‘shadow companion over every bridge we ever crossed’. Coincidentally, my father worked at Tower Bridge and when my daughter and I lived in Twickenham, one of our favourite places to visit was Kew.

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  8. This has to be one of the best poems ever published on dVerse. All those images of bridges, each one being a bridge of sighs. I can truly understand how each part of a path and each bridge ever crossed in the company of someone special bring back the memory…

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    • I am completely chuffed by your comment Bjorn – and bridges seem to invoke some of the strongest memories for me perhaps because they are symbolic too of those who have already ‘crossed over’

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  9. So beautiful – remembering nourishes us and saddens us at the same time. A bridge of sighs indeed.

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  10. Your poem has me in tears. Such an acute loss that also morphs, into an ever-present ache.

    “And it’s all there still, still the same;
    only you have changed, morphed to memory.”

    {{{HUGS}}}

    Like

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