Reading Palms by Stephen Watt
As child, I conceptualised trolls
beneath where the tolls were stationed,
swiping seaweed-sticky fingers
at cars commuting from Erskine,
dragging all inside
to the bottom of the Clyde
then gorging on their bones.
Such a little monster’s vision.
Growing, the creatures faded
leaving the bridge to sketch
an impression on my young mind.
The way leaves only gust backwards
was some form of magnetism
or the twinkling, illuminated ellipsis points
of the bridge lights;
the festive perpetuation of Christmas.
The bridge bore gifts.
Roman coins in the grass, births in ambulances,
the panoramic first glimpse of Lomond –
like a snow globe or a music box
quivering in the starlit heart
and the sun sparkles on the river
like lost souls skimming pebbles by the banks,
spelling out their love letters
to all the boats which pass.
Trolls may well keep guard underneath
tracing the bridge’s palm line
and the direction which people travel
but here, huddled together,
a bonfire can ornate the glory of the Erskine Bridge;
a painting in animation,
the night’s dark satin stitch.
Stephen Watt, October, 2018
This section: stories and poems
Filed under: stories and poems
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