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Poetry #211
(published January 27, 2005)
Between States
by Sommer Sterud
I've watched you walk home one hundred ways.
With bowed legs, you crossed the bridge from
West Virginia to Ohio. You swaggered. I sat
In the car. The breeze blew; the bridge swayed.

I thought your swagger made the bridge sway,
made the breeze blow. I was five years old
at the other end. Terrified, I made Mother wait.
Still, it was my favorite of the hundred ways.

I was five years old at the other end. I wanted time
to waste. I measured the distance you had to travel
with my fingers. I closed the gap with my thumb
and made a cradle of my hand. I was five

at the other end. I tried to sing the nursery
rhyme with a happy ending but slipped into admitting
the fall. When the breeze blew, I wished your body into
an arrow speeding toward me.

The breeze rocked the bridge to sleep. You swayed
like a feather.

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