Seth Murray

Stories of Bridges, Stories of Floods

Days like these, he would walk his grandson underneath the bridge
to the caramel water of the creek laced with the silver flash of minnows.
Now the invisible hand of a child grown and in the used car business.
He stood alone in the rubies and diamonds of shattered beer bottles.

There were no good stories of bridges in the Bible. Not really.
A shared headstone for his wife with his name over blank granite.
The grave would take his body like the time would take his memory.
He put his ear to the water, and the fish spoke of the town he never left.

With it's cemetery.

And it's truss bridge.

There was a great flood in the Bible, and mighty vessels. How about that?
With the rain and prayer, he saw the spiraling slow wall of a spring flood.
It swept up from underneath him into silty white caps, and he could see
giant carp following his limp body to the Great Miami River.

And out to the Ohio, and to the Mississippi.

And out to sea.

Seth Murray is a machinist, railroad conductor, photographer, occasional political activist, an armchair writer, and a father of one.  He lives and works in Southwestern Ohio.


  1. The image of the "giant carp following his limp body" all the way to the sea has stayed with me for days. Great thoughtful imagery. Also like how you added so much color to the scene under the bridge with caramel, silver, rubies and diamonds, giving it the specialness of the man's memories. Love the phrase "the invisible hand of a child grown". But it's the contrast that gets me. The certainty of "A shared headstone" and "the town he never left", against the suddenness of a spring flood and his body, followed by the giant carp, traveling all the way to the sea. Beautiful, well done, piece.


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