Guest Poet Ginger Murchison

Bridge Lessons

When you get up before the day does, 
you get in on things, like when the ocean,

in a shiny nightgown, opens her door
just a crack to let the sun in.  And the heron

check you out, surprised because he always
gets here first.  Then, of course, the trees--

who would've known ballet practice started
at the crack of dawn, or that somewhere lined up

behind the quiet, a million noises
wait their turn.  Whoever's catching

the first flight out crosses the bridge, and if you knew
how to speak Bridge, you'd have a secret.

So you make a deal that tomorrow
you'll get up early for Bridge lessons.

March, 1998

Ginger Murchison's Questions:

Some readers think I am talking about Bridge as a cardgame in the last stanza.  Referencing the penultimate stanza, "if you knew how to speak Bridge" (as if it were a lanugage,) I'm really making a deal to get up and "learn the language" of morning....relate to morning, appreciate the early part of day....from one who is clearly surprised at all of this....
Are the last 2 lines  a "drop off" to "a quick solution," the lanugage of which is "not really in keeping with the gracefulness of the rest of the poem"?  If so, does anyone have any ideas for fixing that?

Correspond with Ginger Murchison at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop