Flash Fiction: Under the Bridge: A Letter Home

By: Beate Sigriddaughter


Dear Kevin,

I made it to Denver this week. Gorgeous sunlight. Not too warm.

Under the bridge by the Platte River, I keep seeing the same woman, eyes stern, severe, a little wounded, looking at me with sullen challenge. Who are you? Leave me alone. Looking for trouble? Don't bother me. I'm tired of y'all. Today when I passed, she pulled her cover, a thin yellow and brown blanket, closer to her face. This slid the blanket away from her feet, clad in heavy brown ankle boots, scuffed. The toe of the right boot sported a huge hole. Her legs lay side by side straight out in front of her like sticks as her back leaned upright against the wall. A swag of ivy hung over her head. Her eyes were dark with suspicion, almost black. They moved from me to the shopping cart on her side. Back to me, back to the cart. She peered behind it too once, as though defending it with her meticulous attention. It was a large shopping cart from the nearby supermarket, piled high with things hidden under a black plastic sheet.

Today was the third day I saw her sit in the exact same spot, looking at me with the same brooding eyes, guarding the same heaping cart with its black plastic sheet concealing things of significance to her. Somehow she had to be getting food. Did she ever leave her spot? With or without her cart? Does someone come to bring her food and drink and company? I wonder what her dreams are as she sits there with her eyes on the river, leaning against stone under ivy, held
captive by what she owns.

You too have many treasures. I know they are important to you.

I miss you so much. Be well. I will not come home again.

Bio- Beate Sigriddaughter, www.sigriddaughter.net, grew up in Germany and is currently Poet Laureate of Silver City, New Mexico (Land of Enchantment). Her work has received several Pushcart Prize nominations and poetry awards. New books out in 2018 were Xanthippe and Her Friends (FutureCycle Press) and Postcards to a Young Unicorn (Salador Press).

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