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Bridges of Pittsburgh 

More bridges than any city in the world.
Graceful Smithfield St. Bridge, oldest
steel bridge in the country, 16th St. Bridge,
sundials on the piers, bridge after bridge
across conjoined rivers, Monongahela,
Allegheny, into the Ohio, the way west.

It's the little stone bridges over streams
in the parks, that move me most, so many built
by the WPA, rough hands, strong backs, hefting
stone to span streams in all that cool of leaves
lit green in summer, copper in fall. Dry rivulets
in winter. I think too of the quick bridge 

a cardinal sketches in air from the neighbor's maple
to the pin oak next door. Single span of gold
as the yellow warbler dives into my purple monarda.
The spider constructs bridges of web in rose leaves
and ivy. Bindweed strings itself from twig to branch.
Bridges we engineer and build, one to another.

-- Liane Ellison Norman

 

Liane Ellison Norman is a Madwoman in the Attic, the author of a biography of Molly Rush, a novel about Mozart's mother and many poems, articles and essays. She lives in Squirrel Hill. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs Saturday mornings on 90.5 FM.

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