Belle Waring

Storm Crossing Key Bridge

Volume 7:3, Summer 2006
DC Places Issue

Storm Crossing Key Bridge

Seventy-five feet over the water, what stops you
still as the rivets in the bridge’s arch is
thunderheads bellowing on the horizon,
under the bridge the swallows darting home, winds
riffing you with their pregnant
smell of rain coming, scent of a storm
just teasing a memory
too diffuse to nail down,

maybe something from childhood
before you could talk, happy
to walk on two legs, crown
in the air, sniffing the roiling
sky, and nobody hurts you.

Between two breaths    Now
you can forget
your best friend’s dead.

Breathe, and the sky
dumps itself in the ash can.

Imagine nothing. Stop imagining.

Belle Waring (1951 - 2015) is the author of two poetry collections: Refuge (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990), which won the Associated Writing Programs' Award in 1989 and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990; and Dark Blonde (Sarabande Books, 1997), which won the 1997 Poetry Center Book Award (San Francisco State University) and the Larry Levis Prize in 1998. She received fellowships from the NEA, the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Trained as a registered nurse, she worked for many years as a librarian and science writer at the National Institutes of Health. To read more by this author: Five Poems, Summer 2003