Mackinac Bridge

In the center lanes, your tires
whine against the taut steel grid,
five miles of heartache
standing in for gray tarmac,
which knows nothing of music,
and so, stays mute.

In the center, in the heart, you can hear
ballads of the iron workers
who laid the steel across wind-warned
waves, whitecaps straining to reach them,
to pull them down among the generations

of sailing men and women, who,
heedless of candled windows and
widow’s walks,
never came home.

“You belong to me,“ sang the lake,
“you who know no bounds
but sky and steel. I will be your bed,
your limit, your last true lover.
Come to me.”

And they did,
and the bridge, knowing this better
than all the histories of men,
sings with the voices of ghosts
wrung from the iron waves.

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