Ruth Asch

On a Bridge over the Highway

The voice of the sea called me:
A regular slow sigh,
chassé of sounding shingle
and departing whisper.
It sang wet wind and salt,
grey-eyed wisdom and fresh dreams;
– but ocean is not here.

I find myself
on a pier of tarmac:
a bridge over the highway´s gloom and gleam.
Cool air tingles, mingling fumes with dew.
Aloft a bank of clouds –
sand and violet shades;
sky-scrapers: silhouetted cliffs.
The waves are of the road below:
surge approaching and awaying –
I stand swaying, transported –
a lithe ribbon of lights
pulls through me.

Look out over the gulf –
Processions of luminous eyes
waiting to be filled;
pupil-less pairs of eyes intently sliding.

Turn to witness why they go…
each citrine pair, beyond the bar
flames a ruby red.
They fly heavy;
in the distance gather slow:
droplets of lava
trickle into cryptic dark.

I am possessed by this cross-road;
filled with its atmosphere of sound:
interminable chain of ghost shouts.
Sometimes, their longing is like seabirds…

but time wearies in floating;
wrings into incessant yawns…
And I rejoin the street-walk:
the sober stride of pedestrian night.


Ruth Asch is a poet and short-story writer, published by many print and online literary journals and anthologies, such as Poetry Repairs, Peacock Journal, Bamboo, and Piltdown Review. She is also a teacher and lives with her husband and five children in Preston, England.

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