The George Washington Bridge

September 1, 1998

The George Washington Bridge - Poetry of the Times

I stand beneath the bridge and listen
to it flex and sing
as traffic mourns overhead,
the river below
whipped into white scallops
by a fierce south wind.
The forgiven sun
spills road and tower shadows
on churning water.
Across the river, the city grinds
Dominican and Honduran on land
my father walked as a boy
when men piled steel X's,
men who fell
as they strained to connect
the yearning concrete spans.
On ribbon cutting day
he walked across,
the river blue and clean back then,
years before his commute
on the Red & Tan bus
over the bridge to his factory
and the smell of leather skins
he swore kept him alive
when rivers of blood
poured from his gut,
and all the years he fell
silent and I did not know
how to risk my life to reach him.

© CME LLC
9/98

Read more of Dr. Berlin's work.