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Poetic License: Mending Drawbridge (2003)

By Staff | May 6, 2015

Something there is that doesn’t love our drawbridge,

That sends the Gulf in constant swells against it,

And bakes the upper girders in the sun

And makes cracks SUV’s can pass abreast.

The work of Lee County is another thing:

I have come after they’ve made repair,

Tied up the traffic, collected the tolls,

For they would have the Semis over limit

To levy extra fines. The cracks I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made

But at inspection times we find them there.

I let my neighbor know that there’s a Hearing

And on that day we go to hold the line:

Keep the drawbridge between us and Fort Myers

From where day-trippers come to spoil our balance.

“Stay where you are or we’ll keep our drawbridge raised!”

My neighbor’s voice grows hoarse out-shouting them.

Not just another kind of indoor game,

A few on each side, but a real war.

“The drawbridge gives a sense of some control

On who comes and goes,” my neighbor argues

As we crawl home on Periwinkle Way.

“Discourages riff-raff and car chases,

Makes us feel safer, like a gated island.”

Spring season has put the mischief in me:

“But would not a fixed bridge serve just as well,

Provide full access twenty-four seven,

Keep traffic flowing smoothly, without pause?”

I ask to keep the conversation going.

“Before I raised a drawbridge I’d ask to know

Whom I was keeping in or keeping out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn’t love our drawbridge,

That wants it down!” I could say “Gulf” to him

Or “Nature” but it’s neither one exactly

And I’d rather he’d say it for himself.

He drives through dark skies as it seems to me

Not of sanctuaries and wetlands only.

He will not move beyond his narrow saying

And he likes having thought of it so much

He says again: “Makes us feel safer,

Like a gated island!”