Walking the Maria Valeria Bridge

Good morning Maria Valeria,

I am still here, guarding you

with poetry. Have you noticed?

Is it enough? Perhaps there is time

for us to learn small things from each other:

for me to feel the vibrations

in your hairline fractures –

three whole spans destroyed

fifty seven years

while governments debated

the economics of reparation,

for you to recognise my footfall,

translate the weight and angle

of my print and intent.

Judge me kindly;

some days I will be lacking,

less dutiful, distracted by my own

wavering interior.

But I am here to tell you

this morning I paid attention

and the swans flew low,

their wings singing you into the day,

and the sun gently forged

then released your shadow,

and campfire smoke rose

from the banks of the Danube

to greet you, and the people

crossed and recrossed,

and I with them,

all of us pattern makers

all of us guardians

against your unmaking.

campfirebridge swans