Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The French Literary Review, The Heron’s Nest, and The Lake. Her first poetry chapbook, Ash Keys, has just been released from Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com.
The bridge is redundant,
left to permanently soar
over the disused railway line.
You may go across or over,
though if you choose the former
there is no train to hit you.
Underneath are pensioners
throwing sticks for eager dogs,
toddlers learning to ride their tricycles.
A woman sits with her legs apart – the folds
of her sari fall sheer from her groin.
A couple have taken themselves
out of the house to broach the matter
that won’t be solved indoors –
their postures lock in an iron grid.
And nobody takes the first step. Nobody
chooses up and further without
a reason. To do so would be folly.
The tall grasses undulate
as if in deep discussion; twisted branches
irritate the railings. I am eye level
with crows that will remember my face.
The matter worth remembering
Can you separate
the omelet and the orchid?
The eggs from the open flower?
Did the sudden sharp yap of the dog
send a white light up your spine?
If you don’t know if you’re up or down,
bottom or top –
I am charmed and strange.
To process such perceptions,
negotiate these pexa et hirsuta,
would you barter Shereshevsky’s
You could recall your life –
more than yesterday –
and integers make interesting friends.
Or would you rather recognize a face,
comprehend a metaphor,
read, perhaps interpret,
the poem that you are?