A solitary figure walks the bridge span
as water rushes through drainpipes below.
The rank smell of earth and runoff rises to the pavement.
Streetlights splay on pitted asphalt, potholes,
the roadway ruined by the snowplow’s blade.
It’s a woman, rummaging through her pocketbook.
She opens a handkerchief, drops something
shiny into the river, its round weight
falling through mist-filled air.
At the last second, she sees a gold glint
as it disappears, black eddies swirling,
closing over its hollow core.
by Pia Taavila