Two Poems by Kierstin Bridger

Two Poems by Kierstin Bridger
(Image credit: Kierstin Bridger)

Two Poems


Kierstin Bridger



Because Now There Are School Shootings


This morning hollowed holy

draped white by last night’s storm—

sheers dim with little light.

not quite seven yet.


In this alpine bowl

the pond looks forgotten,

canticle of crumb-sharks

still circle after dreaming.


They must exist,

immune from ice,

saline adverse

singing ridge line songs


through several sets of teeth.

They must wear a bear tooth

on their necks,

a dominance amulet,


these stealth

and unexpected predators

circling unknown

to most but me.


Yesterday the girl

said there was a lockdown

drill at school.

Poorly planned said she,

several of us would be dead.


This is a child we urge

to be more aggressive.

Her courtly manners

do not serve under the two point net.


She holds the table at lunch

while the others queue for powdered sugar

crepes. For her, time only for savory

not one bite of sweet.



Think of your mother, I cry,

I couldn’t live without you.

Squeeze into a hiding place,

share it, like sardines.


Oh toothsome girl, who lost a molar

within minutes of a fallen bicuspid

just last Sunday. Sing a song of survival,

sing of full press. I should’ve said


stitch yourself in winter’s threads,

steal away from bullets

sprung from nowhere

and everywhere at once.


Be the distant spring,

invisible blades and ox-eye

daisies. Be still

like that deep black water.


Even if doesn’t seem real,

hide darling girl,

every blonde hair,

every aquamarine chipped nail.





The Dream Where I Read Your Face in Placerville


You look at me and I wonder,

is that one more river you want

me to cross,

a wade through it dare?


You must want me cold and searching

or is that an invitation to meet you,

carve our names in the aspen’s ashy canvas

near the spot where I X’ed us out,


where the bear paw seconded it,

signed it in bitter root claw,

where wind and rain sealed it

in crust and black- we’re done.


I can’t tell you what is written

in our sage smoked canyons

or how the echo follows us

in our daily hollows;


tunnels of corrugated flume,

culverts full of spit-out raven bone,

nests of fox fur,

and bits of chalk cliff den.


I can’t tell you when flash floods

will wipe the smile off dead man’s curve.

So stand there while I scowl,

while I dig my fingers in this rock façade.


I’ll climb before I cross

by God, and it’s the waking voice

I hear in my own auricle just now.

Every curse I ever knew spawned from the mouth


Of my Grandmother. . .and you mute, the perfect foil.

Stop-up the empty place or tunnel through?

Temper tastes like remorse, you say with a smirk.

It’s sweet as freshwater trout on your honey fly.


You know you can’t ask me anything.

Your face has too many tiny shifts,

it’s leather bound, eyes like the alphabet

Oh! Illiterate me.



A little more about Kierstin Bridger… 

Kierstin Bridger is a Colorado writer. Her poems have appeared in Prime Number, Memoir, Thrush Poetry Journal, The Best of Spilt Infinitive Anthology, Pilgrimage, and others.

 Bridger is co-curator for the Open Bard Poetry Series, “Editor-in Sheaf” of Ridgway Alley Poems, and a contributing writer at Telluride Inside and Out. She will earn her MFA from Pacific University in June 2014.



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