The Other Side of the Bridge

The Other Side of the Bridge


When both of my husbands

were alive, we spent

Thanksgiving together,


our feast culminating with

an extended walk

across the Tacoma Narrows bridge.


The two of them paused

beside an iron railing

so I could take photos:


a sort of black-and-white

study in contrasts, but

captured in technicolor.


My ex had yellow teeth

and cheeks that hung

like a gaunt bulldog’s.


He smoked a cigarette

every fifteen minutes—

frail shoulders

slumped in the rain,


frantic mouth devouring

smoke, like it was candy.


My husband perched beside him,

happy for sailboats

that passed beneath our feet,


and a sun break that seemed

to come out of nowhere.


No one knew both men

were marked—my ex-husband

would be dead


in less than a year,

my current one in three.


And I, the photographer,

doomed to continue my trek

across the span, alone.


I’m glad no one can predict

the future, or there would

be no point in going on:


still, I trudge ahead

anyway, half-believing

I know what awaits me

on the other side of the bridge.







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