Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Poem: The Bridge of Sighs

Wednesday, like all days, is a good day for poetry

Today's poem was inspired by the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.
Photo by B. Welleschik. For more info, click on image

The bridge connects the interogation rooms at the Doge's palace with the prison. The view from the bridge's barred windows was the last view of Venice a prisoner would have. It was first called Bridge of Sighs by Lord Byron, who imagined the prisoners would take in the view of beautiful Venice and sigh before being led to a prison cell

The Bridge of Sighs

You crossed it with your heart,
held out in your open palm.
At the top of the arch,
you let your heart flutter
into the shallow water
that wept beneath you.
Your heart became a boat made of paper.
It floated away
passing magnificent palazzo gardens,
flower vendors with their hands covered in roses,
the tower of bells that peeled to the pigeons.

You will never know where your heart landed,
whether it was caught in fragrent lillies,
or by another pair of hands dipping in to meet a reflection.
Or perhaps the water ate slowly at your heart's edge
until, soggy with the water's wet hunger,
it sank below the gondolier's rhythmic paddle.

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