“This week survivors of the collapse and family members of those who died were offered the chance to take home some of the bridge wreckage. The last lawsuit claims have been settled, and Minnesota’s Department of Transportation opened its warehouse for victims’ families to come and collect some of the mangled steel. Kim Dahl and her two children were among them.” –From an NPR report, August 30, 2013
Let us enter into the wreckage
Of our own collapsed bridge.
My fingers itch but I won’t reach out for your hand in the silence.
In this silence.
We stand in this converted hangar.
We stand in the shadows
Of what we had and what might have been
I hesitate and then go left around the pile that’s higher than me
And you go right around it.
Doesn’t that say everything that needs to be said?
Perhaps I will take this.
Mangled and rusting thing.
It is the way that you used to look at me.
Or there is this, smashed almost beyond recognition.
The way you used to know what I was going to say
Before I knew it.
It is quiet here except for the noises I am making.
There is so much wreckage here.
I am determined to dig through it all but I never will.
In truth it is not so much the souvenier I might take with me
As this desperate hope that answers might be lying here, somewhere.
I have begun, slow and methodical.
What are you doing in your own silence?
What are you thinking in your own silence?
I can still sense where you are, and you are not that far from me.
But you are too far from me, now,
All the time.
I settle on this thing.
It is as good as anything else.
Mangled. So irreparably shattered
I couldn’t tell you what it is, anymore.
That’s what I chose, out of all the things I might have.
You are backlit by the setting sun as you stand in the doorway ready to go.
And your hands are empty.