Crossing the River at Flood Stage by Michael Spring

Crossing the River at Flood Stage

crossing the century-old truss bridge
I still see the tower from last night’s dream

what caused the tower to sink into the stony ground?
the sky’s golden haze conveys the notion
that the tower will rise, fully amplified, once
I step off the other end

it is also a matter of stepping past procrastination

how many times did I say I’d come back
to this field where
in my youth
I’d walk to disappear?


to enter this tower is to become the field
of tall grass with its four-chambered cave
sequestered under the granite boulder


today is dangerous, but rare

ignoring the orange cones and the yellow
“do not cross” tape
the wooden planks of the bridge want to tear free
and tumble

water surges, rattling the old
bolts in the metal

caught in the truss frame web
the bridge seduces me with a sway
like the throb of a lake
with its lone fisherman in a boat


I’m absorbed in the sound of the river

that resounds
in the wind-thrashed trees


imagine being swallowed
into a world that reveals black
as a color of all colors

if you gaze long enough you’ll see
the rousing iridescence
similar to the oracular portals in the peacock’s plume


what of the tower?
dreams slide like mercury from burning cinnabar –

the tower unravels
from bedrock: becomes the field


to cross this bridge is to become the tower


as the embankments of the river – including the town

with its outdoor theatre
and its one café –

including the hospital on the hill
where I was born –

now dissolve

my former self sheds with each step forward

About the Poet
Michael Spring is a natural builder a martial art instructor, and a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine. His poems have appeared in: Atlanta Review, Flyway, Gargoyle, Midwest Quarterly, Spillway, Turtle Island Quarterly and West Wind Review.