Trường Tiền Bridge

Truong Tien Bridge

One is the bridge in the hearts of Huế people
two are the years to build it
three collapses in its 113 years
four  spans fell in the storm of 1904
Five are the names this bridge has had
Six are the spans designed by Eiffel
seven are the colours to light them at night
eight are the years since I first crossed the bridge
nine for 2009 when I left it behind
ten are its years younger than the tower of Eiffel
eleven the  years of Thành Thái’s reign when it opened in 1899
twelve are the steel arches, six on each side
countless the phượng tree’s red blooms at the foot
countless the white áo dài of schoolgirls crossing
countless the times I’ve crossed the Trường Tiền
countless the longings of Huế people far from home

This poem is still a draft; I’m planning to work on it more to polish it up. I’m posting it anyways, for day 23 of poem month.

photo © Chris Galvin 2010

About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
This entry was posted in Memoir, National Poetry Month, Photography, Photos, Poetry, Viet Nam. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Trường Tiền Bridge

  1. mark says:

    There is longing here, Chris. While I don’t know the bridge in question, I do understand the feelings here. Which means, Win!

  2. Quirina says:

    This is a beautiful poem, Chris. I especially like the last 4 lines. 🙂

  3. chris says:

    Thanks, Quirina! I’m still hoping to polish this, but I’m planning to leave the last 4 lines as they are, so it’s good to know that you like them.

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