Muriel Rukeyser

(December 15, 1913 – February 12, 1980 / New York City)

Gauley Bridge


Camera at the crossing sees the city
a street of wooden walls and empty windows,
the doors shut handless in the empty street,
and the deserted Negro standing on the corner.

The little boy runs with his dog
up the street to the bridge over the river where
nine men are mending road for the government.
He blurs the camera-glass fixed on the street.

Railway tracks here and many panes of glass
tin under light, the grey shine of towns and forests:
in the commercial hotel (Switzerland of America)
the owner is keeping his books behind the public glass.

Postoffice window, a hove of private boxes,
the hand of the man who withdraws, the woman who
reaches her hand
and the tall coughing man stamping an envelope.

The bus station and the great pale buses stopping for
food;
April-glass-tinted, the yellow-aproned waitress;
coast-to-coast schedule on the plateglass window.

The man on the street and the camera eye:
he leaves the doctor’s office, slammed door, doom,
any town looks like this one-street town.

Glass, wood, and naked eye: the movie-house
closed for the afternoon frames posters streaked with
rain,
advertise “Racing Luck” and “Hitch-Hike Lady”.

Whistling, the train comes from a long way away,
slow, and the Negro watches it grow in the gray air,
the hotel man makes a note behind his potted palm.

Eyes of the tourist house, red-and-white filing station,
the eyes of the Negro, looking down the track,
hotel-man and hotel, cafeteria, camera.

And in the beerplace on the other sidewalk
always one’s harsh night eyes over the beerglass
follow the waitress and the yellow apron.

The road flows over the bridge,
Gamoca pointer at the underpass,
opposite, Alloy, after a block of town.

What do you want – a cliff over a city?
A foreland, sloped to sea and overgrown with roses?
These people live here.

Submitted: Thursday, December 15, 2011

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Gauley Bridge by Muriel Rukeyser )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. 'Hope' is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Stray Reflection, Sunny Chopra
  2. Tagore Song (#13) When He comes to beg me, Tushar Ray
  3. Selfish, Naomi Mith
  4. Tagorer Song (#12) My Invisible Flute, Tushar Ray
  5. Tagore Song (#11) Who is this piano pla.., Tushar Ray
  6. THOUGHT-LIFE (Quatrains), Cynthia BuhainBaello
  7. Music, Life's Soundtrack (Quatrains), Cynthia BuhainBaello
  8. Love Note 16, Michael P. McParland
  9. Change, David Lessard
  10. ENVY DEFINED, Cynthia BuhainBaello
[Hata Bildir]