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(no place to go, no promises to keep—P. Simon)
by Dennis Greene
We did not go to see the bridge that year.
It was as though the 59th Street bridge had
gone away, slipped from its place in memory
and left a song to trickle through New York
and set us free from adolescent dreams
and dreaming, and the need to sing
the 59th Street Bridge Song on the bridge.
Instead September brought us early autumn,
old friends new causes, and the trees still green
in Central Park, and Central Park still, green,
dark green and cloudy. Cloud fell as rain
and caught us queuing for the harbour cruise,
old friends, new causes, half-drowned crews
from Battery Park, their voices calling, come,
please come, and New York wore its cap pulled
down, its peak turned back, and summer’s
colours turning brown for autumn.
And still we thought forever meant forever,
and so we climbed up to the older view, its towers
tall against the width of harbour—and then looked
back to Central Park, the day grown dark, night
calling calling calling, New York in autumn and
the trees grown stark, leaves falling falling falling.
We did not get to see the bridge that year. It was
as though the 59th Street bridge had gone away.