Standing on a footbridge.
The ring road below it, traffic from out of
town streaming along the dual carriageway
from somewhere to somewhere else. In the pointless
morning, cars crawl slowly or stop beneath the bridge,
the rush hour standstill. People see me standing there,
alone. They look up and wonder why I’m there.
When I look at them, they all just look away.
Hours later, at the end of the day, after sunset, it’s different.
When I look at them now, under the street lights,
they look back, and keep looking as they pass beneath me,
swivelling round in their seats to keep me in view,
the solitary figure standing at the edge of the bridge.
I can tell what they’re thinking.
I can smell the diesel stink and hear the rolling roar.
I can almost feel the metal weight of them, the cars
and trucks and buses and vans, speeding along
on the cold, hard, unmoving black macadam
all those unforgiving, heartless feet below.
It’s when I look down that I get it.
Alone, in the dark, on the bridge,
I almost see why people do it.
I almost understand.