Iron Bridge

(19-22 April 1989)) after Eugene Field

The iron bridge is rusted silver painted over rust, standing over the creek like a rock since 1902. Graceless angles cross angles, reinforcing its squat lines, but its large, solid frame is a mountain, a tombstone. I walk along its backbone in the dark, swallowed in it, and in the bright morning it frames distance and light. I can’t imagine the pride of constructing a thing like this, a thing to stand with the trees; I’d be bound to get it wrong. Maybe, for those who built it, underpaid, it was just a job, having to work for the railroad in the rain or heat. The time has gone, and a skeleton is left. The time has gone, and left a skeleton.