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.

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