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WALKING ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE by John Grey

Three Dutch exchange students are walking across the bridge.
A rabbi, his Torah clutched defiantly in his hands,
is walking across the bridge.
A teenager, his brain lodged inside the sounds his headphones make,
is walking across the bridge.
A young woman in her twenties is jogging across the bridge.
Her light brown Labrador retriever runs beside her across the bridge.
An old woman with a cane is walking on three legs across the bridge.
A businessman with his tie undone is walking across the bridge.
The wife who knows that life has blows, many of them brutal,
is walking across the bridge.
A mother and young son run, walk, run, walk, across the bridge.
A pair of young lovers, hands enfolded, are floating across the bridge.
A would be Emma Lazarus, hands in pockets; is soaking up the diversity
of her fellow walkers as she ambles across the bridge.
A woman with a heavy shopping bag is trudging across the bridge.
A Spanish senora clutching a canary in a cage
is swaying across the bridge.
A bearded man with a case full of watches is slowly bargaining his way
across the bridge.
A woman in a low-cut blouse and short, short skirt is subject to one
protracted ogle, passed on from eye to eye, as she struts across the bridge.
A teacher points out every building in Manhattan to a clutch of bored
grade six students as she meanders across the bridge.
A pregnant thirtysomething, swings his left arm as her right holds back
her belly, as she waddles across the bridge.
A tall, thin, bespectacled student dips his head in a book by Herman Hesse,
as he crawls strolls across the bridge.
A large black and gray German Shepherd that no one seems to own
is walking across the bridge.
A bad singer, an incessant sneezer, some old codger talking crazy, are
walking across the bridge.
Someone who's a dead ringer for David Letterman, but is not him, is
ducking the whispers and walking across the bridge.
A dozen Japanese tourists are walking across the bridge.
A mother with her head wrapped in a blue scarf is pushing a pram
across the bridge.
An artist, gripping to his easel and paints, who plans to paint the bridge
from the Brooklyn side, is walking across the bridge.
A group of French people following a guide with umbrella held high
are walking briskly across the bridge.
The philosopher, the bitter, the forgetful, the shy,
are walking across the bridge.
The poor, the rich, the white, the black, are walking across the bridge.
Every type of person there is, or ever was, is walking across the bridge.
It's a warm, sunny day, eleven in the morning and the warmth, the sun,
the day, the hour, are walking across the bridge.


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in The Lyric, Vallum and the science fiction anthology, The Kennedy Curse, with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and the Pedestal.