A Paean to Duluth, Minnesota

While I enjoy the Idaho spring, I found myself thinking of Duluth summer. -M    


The Aerial Lift-Bridge

At the terminus of plains and lakes,

Where the Rust Belt is buckled,

There is a bridge that shinnies up to let ships under.

Linking twisty sandbars

In this zephyr city of the unsalted seas.

The Atlantic is many lakes and locks away.

This bridge is the end of St. Lawrence,

Of the patron seaway of a martyred archdeacon.

A thousand-foot ship approaches.

The MV Tregurtha,

Loaded with iron ore for China’s forges—

Iron ore from the pit mines of the Mesabi Range.

The lift-bridge goes up.

I watch my Grandfather sketch the ship, a Bloody Mary in his hand.

The Aerial Lift-Bridge rises slowly. It baptizes by the name

Of St. Lawrence and his Seaway. Tregurtha, ship of the covenant,

Go in peace.

Duluth. Decanter of ore and grain by train and sea.

Town of the lift-bridge, city of the Seaway.

Gateway to the greatest lakes.


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