Julian Dobson

 

 

 

A bascule bridge 

 

Right now, this deadweight under a harvest moon

could pivot, start a roll of upward motion.

 

Weight and counterweight still echo tidal motion

while stranded stevedores watch reflections on East Float,

 

dreaming the ghosts of grain ships. In glass offices men float

new visions, conjure swings in fallen fortunes.

 

On roads where even weeds won’t thrive, seesawing fortunes

have come to rest. Every roof and joist is slack.

 

Wise women strain their eyes. They know slack

water signals turning, though the bridge span opens

 

for practice, not for trade. Some days it opens

its industrial mechanics for observers, tourists

 

of a sort. At the ferry terminal cafe they serve tourists

mugs of dark tea, feel the west wind chill the shoreline.

 

Duffel-coated shadows grip railings on the shoreline,

scan ripple-mirrored city lights for signs of change,

 

a shiver at the fulcrum. One day they’ll sniff the change

in the salt wind, they say. They’re asking for the moon.

 

 

 

 

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His poetry blog is at https://52poemsinayear.wordpress.com

 

 

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