The Walnut Street pedestrian bridge hides it sorrows
in bevies of Instagram brides, cheerleaders,
band members wearing their school ts ,
leashed dogs sniffing the edges of Statue of Liberty green
wanting to dive after the slowly moving boats
on the Tennessee river below, couples holding hands,
wisely staying to the middle away from the joggers
jostling through on both sides.
The daylight dilutes the fear of falling with its clarity,
each step is defined with certainty on its planks,
and a cheerful civility keeps everyone safe.
On the Bluff side dogs will bite the air
in a frenzy that lasts until the second span’s crossing,
attacking scents over a century and two scores old,
when thirteen years apart the noose corpses
of Alfred Blount and Ed Johnson swayed
in rhythm with the Tennessee river.
The last walkers are the frantic and anguished,
calculating the blind spot and time for a late night jump,
one where no will be around to talk them down
and not even the insomniacs looking out from the bluff
will be watching and listening for the splash.
A mid point plaque details its construction
with brief acknowledgements to those
who have fallen in its creation. No roadside crosses
memorialize the blood shed into its rust.
Underneath the Tennessee flows,
no one seeing its blackness,
nor the mixing and depositing
of everything that has cried.
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