Faintly he hears the bleat of Mr. Dollar’s goats from up the road.
No chance of a nice fat one trit-trotting across his bridge.
Troll must settle for devouring, with his unblinking eyes,
the beer swilling teenagers wielding spray cans,
the solitary Sunday morning fisherman,
the motionless heron gazing into the slow eddies for young trout.

In spring he feasts his eyes on the surge of brown flood water
muscling its way downstream,
and gorges on backyard debris—broken deckchairs, bicycle tires, chicken wire

In summer he drinks in the swallows swirling in the fly-riddled air
and the young ones peeping from their nests
tucked under the bridge’s metal struts

In fall he savors the acorns and maple helicopters
tossed into the current by kids hanging over the railings,
and the flocks of Canada geese settling into the marsh at twilight

And in winter the old troll digests the slow trickle under ice,
and the eagle perched in bare branches with one eye on the open water,
the other on the motionless figure watching from under the bridge.
IMG_1161 IMG_0146


18 thoughts on “TROLL UNDER THE BRIDGE

  1. Argus

    As a licensed card-carrying cynic (and occasional troll) myself I freely admit that I love it~!

    We have the same here in NZ but our ‘art’ mostly takes the form of (would you believe, and how passé can you get?) swastikas—and most of ’em drawn backwards. Tut!

    At last … someone who appreciates us trolls … sniff …

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yes, I was excited to find that our local headbangers have a sense of humor–and that their parents read to them as children. All good! Every bridge needs a troll!

  2. Sunshine Jansen

    That the one wielding the spray can was consciously placing a troll in his natural habitat seems incredible to me in this unmagical day and age — but I want to believe. 🙂

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Sunshine I visit this troll and his mate (not featured in the picture, though she’s quite the looker!) often. They appeared a couple of years ago around Christmas. I feel certain there was irony involved!

  3. Astrid Myers Rosset

    Dear Melissa,

    Liked your poem *Troll Under The Bridge – *and the picture of the Troll was wonderful. I love Trolls!


    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thanks, Karina. This fella and his mate are my local trolls. I’ve been charmed by them for a while now and thought I’d see if I could work them into something.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thank you! I’m tempted to load up with spray paint and go on a guerilla campaign painting trolls under bridges all over the country. ;- )


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s