Charles Bridge Walk

by Patricia Duffy
Prague

At two charcoal Gothic towers
Toll collectors demand payment
Beginning and end
For each sheep and wagon wheel
Crossing the cobble stones over the Vltava
Enriching Prague
Before
Baroque gilded church spires on shore
Offer the faithful poor
A taste of heaven
Before
King Leopold II
Overlooks the bridge from Castle Hill
Lavishing power
On Richard Wagner
While Bismarck nibbles away at the country
Before
Kafka paces the bridge
In the hated clothing of the bourgeoisie
Before
Communist rulers
Turn gray the view from the bridge, declaring
Is not possible
Before
John Lennon sings Imagine
In Prague Spring
Where the tank is painted pink twice
The view from the bridge becomes once more colorful
Gypsy street musicians play
Czech tunes,
New Orleans jazz and Gregorian chants
High school boys walk shoulder to shoulder
Laughing and humming the Russian national anthem
And Vaclav Havel brings back human rights
Changing Is not possible to maybe.
Patricia Duffy teaches writing at Mott Community College in Michigan. She is currently completing the final edit of her first novel, a satire. In the summer she enjoys adventure travel and cycling.

© 2014, Patricia Duffy