Reading Palms by Stephen Watt

erskine bridge

Reading Palms

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

like homewards

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

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This section: stories and poems

Filed under: stories and poems

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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