In the middle of Washington Bridge
a span that straddles the wide shoulders
of the Mississippi,
on the arc of my brow's ridge,
after a weekend's mighty blow
watching closely the movements
of a dark feathered, gliding crow
In the middle,
once in the not so distant past
as two dorm mates and I walked past,
a ragged homeless man I recognized
but barely knew
lifted his body high and then
heaved all hell over
and down he flew
plunging down his fragile mass,
a speeding bullet,
trying to escape his past?
In blood-ice, mid-winter he did this
and left a warm, bright red hole,
for his deep, cold-water grave
forty, fifty or more feet below.
It was here.
In the middle, in the middle,
And in the middle now,
I look down to his place
this place, I so well know.
Unlike him, I cannot quite take my place
and join the Big Muddy
though my worn womb is torn apart
through bleary stung eyes
I look out and see once again,
the bravest, the smokiest hint of a crow.
the vast vacant sky inside
and the skill of my feathered hero
skimming but not penetrating
the waters of muddied regret.
Those same dull aching waters
I feel yet.
Still, look out...
He flies up higher and still, more free
as I hang my head so very low.
Tell me God,
why do you love me,
and why should I have to know this answer,
and will I ever have very far to go,
or will I stay here in the middle,
in the middle.
Mind stuck on the bridge.
Spanning both shoulders...
old comforting world gone and now the new,
forever contemplating, contemplating,
that's what I, what you, what we all sometimes do...
Crow, crow, crow!
What would you do?
Refer to the poem Outlook written in 1980's.
Meloo/Tilt-a-World Melissa A Howells/Copyright Nov 30 2010
written after an inkling woke me up at 6am Tuesday November 30th, 2010.
The morning after reading Outlook at Show and Tell Gallery Open Mic at The Three Friends
Coffee House in Portland.