Deer Creek Bridge
I celebrate the Brooklyn span of grandeur,
the lean red muscle of the stately Golden Gate,
the harp strings, arch, and monumental reach,
the pulse, strong steady artery of urban heart.
But here I sing a backroad country bridge
above a creek, its sway scant thirty yards
of rough-sawn rumbling timber, a passageway
into Deer Creek from fertile southward ground.
Up north, the slender creek bends, eddies round
to wander uncongenial ground, wet half the year,
frozen the rest; the road turns west to farms,
homes, long planted deep, corn rows, tall pines.
The cemetery’s south of town; so folks
cross over Deer Creek Bridge going one way
or pass over Deer Creek Bridge the other;
two lanes above the rippling sound of water,
wood planks, a modest railing made of pine.
The children lean to race wood chips and sticks,
racing from one side, shouting, to the other
—the traffic sparse and slow, knowing the game.
Clear water swirls above gray granite stones.
Brown trout may rise to feed and dart in shadow.
A common country bridge: a common thread
tying the Brooklyn and Golden Gate together.
Leland James is the author of five poetry collections, four children’s books in verse, and a book on creative writing and poetry craft. He has published over three hundred poems worldwide, in journals including The Lyric, Rattle, London Magazine, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The American Poetry Review, The Haiku Quarterly, The American Cowboy, and The Ekphrastic Review. He was the winner or received honours in many poetry competitions, both in the USA and Europe. Leland has been featured in American Life in Poetry, Poets & Writers, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. www.lelandjamespoet.com & https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/leland-james