This is a poem my father wrote after the terrible flooding we experienced in Southern Vermont, which displaced many houses, innumerable bridges and roads, and washed out pastures, immense vegetable crops, and farms.
Even if certain crops weren’t completely washed away, some are considered unavailable for harvesting because of possible contamination the swelled rivers may have carried.
Anyway, this poem was was written before the Brooklyn Bridge protests were making headlines, and the synchronicity is inescapable.
Please also see international journalist Dave Lindorff’s excellent activist website.
Weak Bridge Ahead
By Gary Lindorff
Look at that sign.
Shall we take our chances?
I wonder how many people turn around here, you say.
You can’t always trust signs.
They might have fixed the bridge
And forgot to remove the sign. . .
That is very unlikely, you say.
Look for omens
Just to be on the safe side.
A sudden gust of wind,
Funny looking cloud,
Bird reversing its direction,
Listen to the song that’s playing on the radio
For clues –
“Stop me on the corner. . .
but who am I to tell you
where it’s ‘sposed to go. . .”
Maybe all the bridges are weak
Try everywhere, you say.
Visualize safe crossing.
You say you picture us driving into a breach!
How come we haven’t passed anybody
going the other way?
Probably nothing to worry about.
We can’t let one measly sign
Turn us around.
The future is across that bridge, you say resignedly.
. . .But what if the future is behind us.
If we shy from crossing
We’re just driving scared
And maybe, as you say, there are no safe bridges anymore.
This may be a rare honest sign.
. . .And, you know, I feel as though I’ve
Been here before.
But I was younger then.
Not so desperate.
Now you’re with me, you say.
I want to get to a place
Where people care about each other.
And they tend gardens, you say,
And they know what it means
To wake up in the morning with a dream.
Lately I’ve noticed that all the new bridges
Cross to places where everything is brittle, or falling apart.
Including the bridges, you say.
That would be funny if
The weak bridge wasn’t coming into sight.
I gun it.