Just as you turned the corner on Langford road
and accelerated up Indian riverbank,
down went that damned red-and-white
caution arm to block you—as if the bridge
were waiting to show you it's authority.

And behind the arm, the metal drawbridge rises
before you—the great, gargantuan hand
of a divinity shoving a pausing iron palm
in your face, easing up those tons
slowly as turtles crawling from the ocean.

Close your eyes—this could be
the 19th century, and you're waiting
on a buggy seat behind a favorite horse,
like that picture in your archives
of your great-grandmother, Alice sitting up
on a wagon's seat, waiting for a boat—
yes; a sailboat to pass.
You stare through that see-through
steel screen rising into the glaring, midday sun.
The iron hand so sure of its strength,
rising in tedious slow motion, while
you sit steaming and squirming
in your sedan.
You remember your odd life is often like this,
partly design, partly accident, on a bridge
over a salty intracoastal river, daily crossed.


And as you unbuckle your seat belt,
taking a breath to slow down
your anxious heart, you grab up your phone
cruise to nowhere land with eyes
as far away, as when searching for stars
over the Atlantic waters those nights you cannot sleep.

Below, on a varnished yacht deck, wearing
his cobalt-blue captain's cap and Maui Jim's,
a plump man stands statuesque as Napoleon,
wearing his peachy polo shirt on his fancy,
wood-grained yacht with a too-tall mast—
he dares to wave up at you.

You just shake your head in return,
resisting the urge to give him a finger,
you thinking that in another generation,
or another time warp, you might be he,
down there on that boat deck, looking up at
an impatient woman in her mid-40's
caught in her car on an intracoastal bridge.

And for 15 minutes, with nothing to do and
much to contemplate how your life was bound
to be a double perspective—looking down, looking up,
gazing in, gazing out, looking forward,
looking back, partly accident, partly draw-
bridge over a river somewhere on an ocean coast.