Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, 2 pm

A poem by Alexandra Oliver

Look below: the sable-eddied Kelvin
flowing fast, despite the town’s depression;
never angry, only bloody-minded,
rolling on to reach the red horizon.

Glaswegians put their trust in how it carries:
they toss into its care the things they use:
lolly sticks and condoms, knives and bottles,
babies’ toys, a jilted lover’s shoes.

A force that churns has somewhere else to be,
especially when spattered with this light.
Someone got it started; it is free.
To go a little closer must be right.

And sometimes there’s a child from an estate
pulled from games along the muddy edge,
and this is why the branches bend and wait
and why we always pause upon this bridge.


ALEXANDRA OLIVER is the author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (2013). She is a contributing editor to Partisan. She has written about the Darknet and the worst Israeli movie of all time.

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