Volume 28, Number 4

Civil Discourse

This magnificent bridge crosses every distance,
arches over silt-clogged drainage ditches,
past bulldozed acres where owls once called,
across a city loveliest when morning light
streaks orange over the Exxon station.

It spans acres farmed by lumbering machines
so heavy they crush the soil's hidden universe.
Reaches over oceans and mountains.
Stretches back and forward through time.

Entrance ramps are infinite.

Angry trolls use nets strung together
with logical fallacies and SuperPac money
to knock people off their feet
and drag them so far under
they can't see the bridge,
can’t remember it exists.

Still, the bridge is there.
Squint down the length of it,
you'll see it leads everywhere.

—Laura Grace Weldon