Valley Bridge, Scarborough

Published by Abegail Morley at The Poetry Shed in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, September 2015

A quarter mile above the harbour road
the safety fence curls back
the length of Valley Bridge;
wire mesh panels now in place
to foil the opportunist, to kill a spate.
In 24 years 29 slipped these rails, tipping to the light
thoughts senseless to their survivors
from whom they de-coupled in turn over time
to stand upright and fall in league
with the lure of their forerunner’s end.
Here halfway across I sense. It is the best
I can do, though I catch myself
perversely estimating arcs, re-doubling
my grip on the bars. Crumpled Samaritan posters
surround me, numbers to call in feel-good font.
The view is spectacular, everything takes me in:
the Grand Hotel on Scarborough’s rocks,
the pavillioned Sitwell family home,
the salt-snarled trees on the causeway,
the enticing harbour lights. See, here, now,
mine is the mind outside of itself,
shamefully balanced in simple observation
till 29 ghosts call out their woe. How twisted
must I be to perch here high and safe, to see so straight and far? How low?