“Pedestrian Bridge over the Train Tracks in Brčko, BiH” by Milica Mijatović

Milica Mijatović


I don’t know when the bridge was built,
or when the trains stopped running, or which 
side of the tracks was ours & which theirs, 
or why they painted the bridge turquoise,
or why war is obsessed with lines, or who 
graffitied one of the bridge railings
with “Teška vremena, prijatelju,” or why
some cement steps are missing, or how. 
But I know the tracks are a line, the war
a blur, the bridge a truth. I know the way
home is quickest across the tracks. I know
as kids we never went that way alone.
But one day the bridge became our meeting 
place, our common ground, and we’d sit, you 
with your name & me with mine. I’d say
This place makes me forget to be someone, and 
you’d look at me bewildered—All this place does
is make me be someone. We were both stuck
adhering to lines drawn on our knuckles, 
clenching our fists at the imaginary rumbling
of some train coming to prove us wrong. 

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022


Milica Mijatović: “I come from Brčko, Bosnia and Hercegovina, but I live in the United States and have for quite a while. I’ve been writing and translating poetry since I was a little girl. I love everything about poetry, and every day I try to expose more of my world to poetry.”

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