"Verdia" by Elizabeth Reddin

I don't know how people in charge keep their faces forward,
or the ones with guns in their hands, how they keep them up.
They must never get a long enough break to think... or even
get to dream.

What kinds of dreams are their sons as soldiers having. How
can we be making it here when at night the blank tide

rolls me down and I can't feel.

Not what would make us a whole part, more than what is
passing but passing is most consistent.
Through all kinds of pages and not writing them,

about the women, they were afraid to cross Brooklyn
Bridge though they'd lived so close to it the whole of their

I'm not going over that bridge, are you crazy.

I'm too scared of heights.

Are you crazy, my feet kill me.

I'm scared to go over that bridge, I'm not going over that
bridge, are you crazy.

I'm not going over that bridge.

And when we crossed it we saw the water through

the wood slats,

under our feet, and we saw the sun red, but nothing seemed
down enough... or like it was the voice from elsewhere.

Even a stream can seem senseless when your heart beats fast.

When you didn't have a pen and paper how did you
remember anything. Some things we'll never

forget like the time you said he wasn't alive, you can never
remember having said it, having been strained, you could
never forget that way of thinking, forget what you thought.

I close the door myself.

From "Verdia" from The Hot Garment of Love Is Insecure by Elizabeth Reddin. Copyright © 2007 by Elizabeth Reddin. Published by Ugly Duckling Presse.