Issue Twenty-Six - Summer 2015

Sparks Fly

By Christine Terp Madsen

(Remembering July 4, 1983)

Boston, being an economical city,
and Cambridge, being nearby, like to put
their bridges to multi-purposes, especially
when space is tight, as it tends to be wherever
a bridge is needed, given the wiles of rivers:
they demand that roads be built right next to them,
requiring a bridge over not just the Charles but the road too,
this being the city and all; that means a big road,
that means a big bridge, four lanes, keep it moving,
exit ramps and entrance ramps, what not and so forth,
maybe a trolley track down the center like the Salt and Pepper Bridge
or overhead wires for electric busses across the Mass. Ave. Bridge.
The B.U. Bridge is a bridge to and from the university back and forth
from Cambridge to Boston, from Polaroid to the boathouse,
with a train track in the middle, the only place they say (they claim)
where a boat can sail under a train while a car drives under an airplane
but I’ve never seen it happen, although it would be economical—

being Boston, an economical city,
and Cambridge, being nearby, don’t like people
to walk or linger on their bridges, and they tend
to chase them off with a curt “Move along!”
especially on holidays when the crowds are especially crowded,
and they want especially just to marvel in delights the cities have provided
especially for the purpose especially just for marveling,
which somehow seems to miss the point of marveling
if one is not allowed to linger just to marvel at them,
which seems to confuse the issue beyond comprehension,
if they are for marveling but one cannot marvel, but that is beside the point.
On this holiday, I especially marvel at the delight of the marvel that is you,
especially as we linger on this bridge between Boston and Cambridge.

Copyright Madsen 2015

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