How A Bridge Collapses

A bridge collapses in plain view while
the children are hunted down.

Red arrows put collars onto backdoors
and push palms through cracks.

When small mouths gasp
bitter water seeps in.

The vines grow tall here and
the walls don’t have ears.

Meanwhile the parents claim this never
happened.

“Get your facts straight, sweetie,” they say,
palms up, legs outstretched, forming the
perfect triangle again.

Thin fingers re-work the memories
into something more manageable.

When small mouths grow big
the eyes stay small,
seeing the parents as long shadows,
themselves as pillars of salt.

When did the bridge collapse?

And why?

You must remember that a bridge
did not exist.

Things that did not exist cannot
collapse.

 

4 thoughts on “How A Bridge Collapses

  1. sanberdooboy says:

    disturbing images of children being hunted and tortured. the adults deny any guilt. the bridge that might have functioned to link different places and people is gone. the last six lines are chilling. the poem does a fine job of creating and sustaining a grim mood.

    • Millie Ho says:

      Thanks for your comment. This poem was uncomfortable to write but that usually means you need to write it. In the end, I’m glad I did, as always.

  2. kvennarad says:

    Your poetry gives me a jolt, and I have to re-read at the risk of getting the same jolt, or even a more severe one. I only know a handful of poets who have your ability with words.

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