Remains of the Bridge: A Poetic Response to Vova Zinger’s Photography #WordPrompt #Bridge #Poetry #Photography

“Remains of the Bridge” – Photo by Vova Zinger (posted 2/10/22)

When I first saw this photograph posted by Vova Zinger on his website back on February 10, 2022, I knew there was a poem waiting to be found. At the time, I didn’t exactly know where to go with it, but I knew it was there, lurking just beneath the surface of those rippled waters. Then, when WordPress posted BRIDGE as the #WordPrompt for March, I knew it was time to write. I’ve been reflecting on the image for weeks now and finally found the time to put pen to page during a slow day at home fighting a cold.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so I don’t intend to replace the clear voice of Zinger’s photograph. But this image of the remains of a bridge IS a bridge on so many levels. I wanted to convey that with poetry, which I would also submit is a bridge. The photo connects us all around the world to one place in time – the moment and location Zinger captures in his photograph. Though that moment has passed, it lives on in the timeless power of photography. The same is true with poetry. It’s why we still read and share the poems we love so much because something of the timeless nature of what Shakespeare or Mary Oliver wrote still rings true today. We are human, are we not?

So here is my response to Zinger’s photograph. The poem bridges you to the image, which connects you with Vova Zinger, which connects you to so many other people you’ll likely never meet. The poem is a sonnet, connecting us to the past, even referencing Shakespeare’s Macbeth in line four, though the sonnet’s volta follows the Italian style. In every instance, the bridge connects the past, present, and future, and even our imaginations as we allow ourselves to be transported “to richer sights sublime.”

Remains of the Bridge

Vincent H. Anastasi - 2022

Inspired by the photograph of the same name by Vova Zinger (2/10/22)

This wooden pier no longer bears a load;
the hardware rusts and wood grows green with age;
the planking gone that once composed a road
while we still strut our hour upon the stage.
Among our peers, we live lives disengaged,
connected only by the ebb and flow,
and life's debris will never be assuaged
if we continue on this path alone.

Yet here within the bridge's last remains,
the seeing eyes have opened up a way
connecting us across all space and time.
Now in reflection, let these wooden grains
root themselves where they will never decay
transporting us to richer sights sublime.

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