Paul Smith, “Nocturne for a Drawbridge”

Paul Smith is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people. Some have enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were all dead. He likes writing poetry and fiction. He also likes Newcastle Brown Ale. If you see him, buy him one. His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Homestead Review, Clementine, Literary Orphans, and other lit mags.

orange line

Nocturne for a Drawbridge

At nighttime
when your brothers sleep
their fixed spans pinned
so they can’t budge
the tender’s eyes droop low
and shut
while yours get bright
and then look up
and see the sky illuminated
a billion stars light up the night
to free your cantilevered frame
from the pinions
that hold it tight
and loosen it so you’re upright
then, perpendicular, you see
the realm of man
from which you’re free
not him not fate not geometry
dictate to you
how you should be
you flex your limbs
as traffic stops
where no ships pass
and horns honk loud
at the peculiarity
the rarity
of your perpendicularity
then alas
you go back down
your bascule gears backtrack until
you rest upon
the abutment sill
now traffic ebbs
and traffic flows
on your girders
your brief unrest
has passed
your servitude has not
it lasts until
the sky is full of light again
and you are free
from us and gravity





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