Bridges seduced by burns
Come with me, forget your fingers of mere,
reeds and whitethroats –
whole grass seed peace –
the muir fall of autumn.
Don’t you want to see
the tidefast end of it all;
stanchions stabbing the water in
the battle of tide, crusted shell and freshet?
This is your migration.
Why always be the one returned to?
Your aching boards only a recipient
of fox pad and mustelid scrape –
that pontoon pause – come on
feel even your structural bricks, all that is neat and tight,
shuck away like a pearled eye,
stream deep into my gunshot flood.
The bridge loves the firth
It is really a kind of sea space with clouds and gulls and shells
but it is not, in fact it is the buckled heart of the bridge;
its muscled strut wrapped in weed and tide;
frame braced for storm or calm feathers of salt.
Here the wind beats the wires above our heads:
a humorous wind stretching out nine times
against the confines of the firth and its policy,
a kind of electricity – those taut cables;
a wind that plucks out music from the river
at just the place where it becomes the sea and knits the fresh
and the salt. This is the spot you promise me
Dundee cake in a jute bag, a letter from McGonagall’s doctor;
in return a Selkie bannock, offered in a poem
all tied up with a bramble.
Space, the wind is laughing
but today is all knots and hasn’t’s, even the gannets
stitching the water tight.
Copyright © Bridget Khursheed 2016
Bridget Khursheed is a poet based in the Scottish Borders; recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for poetry in 2014; editor of poetandgeek.com magazine & blog; occasional orienteer & over-excitable birdwatcher. @khursheb