Waterloo Bridge



Imagine the man
(who had boasted of endurance
â plein air)
working from his hotel window.

See his pictures
stacked against the walls
(42 of this same bridge)
changing canvases
with the changing light,
painting the subtle differences
between dull and rainy days
sunrise silver and sunset gold.

This one grey day
blurred onto the canvas,
the fuzzy arches of the old bridge,
yellow light spewed on the river,
echo of chimney-striped sky,
daub of barge or launch
and over the bridge a tugboat
indistinct as the murk of city
on the distant bank.

Frantically a hint of coaches
horses and people
bristle the bridge’s curve,
the surging masses of London
dangerous and alive,
so understated.

No focus here
no detail to admire
just an impression
of a hazy moment of time
worked over laboriously
to capture a glimmer
once in his eye.

Give me the poppy fields
his flower splashed garden
the unsubtle blood of tulips;
this bridge too far to cross
for me.


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