I see them from where I stand: Two silhouettes on the bridge.
A man and his dog.
Isolated figures, etched in black ink.
Who notices them, there, poised on the brink?
Who notices the small dog, or the man with the blank, glazed eyes?
What dark, tortured thoughts pester and fester and plague him?
Impervious to them, as they are to him,
he gazes down from the beckoning bridge.
Heedless of the meaningless, merciless roar of traffic – Motto perpetuoso –
he hears only the demons of his soul.
Two silhouettes trust tightly together.
Trusting little dog wagging its stubby tail.
Big Ben striking 5 o’clock;
and in perfect synchronisation the man raises his arms.
Two silhouettes flying through the air, somersaulting, twirling,…
And myself, helpless, merely a fly on the wall.
And traffic grinds to a screaming halt,
as at last they are noticed.
How has it happened, this sad ending?
Oh, and poor, small dog, who had no say in the matter.
BY VALERIE BLUMENTHAL