if I were to cross this bridge
a thousand times
I’ve crossed this bridge a thousand times
along the length of its steel lattice rail
through which my small daughter
wanting to look down at small-town icebergs
sailing in the swift spring surge
had stuck her head, turned it just so,
and in trying to withdraw could not,
and cried, I’m stuck!
Her wool cap caught in the top vertex
of one of the many diamonds
of the rail’s crossed straps
I reached my left hand over the top rail
on the river’s side, and laid it on her cap’s wool ball
while on the other, between her head and the strap’s steel,
placed my right; with both I eased her head
to the diamond’s wide center
to the spot through which her head could easily pass.
She stood, adjusted dignity and cap,
she grinned, we laughed.
by Jim Culleny