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Wendy Kaplan-Emmons

Cross-country skiing between the lake and I-690


I approach the footbridge with no middle,

its arch blasted out one sunny day last summer

by a careless truck driver’s mast, hailing

concrete onto the family of seven behind,

as they made their way to the Great New York State Fair.

Somehow, maybe only thanks

to the heft of their SUV, they managed

to come out, all of them, unscathed,

the concrete pieces like a fallen toddler’s

teeth, innocent and almost painless, except

for the lasting extraction.


Seven months later there’s orange

hazard tape stretching fire through snow

from the base of this trail up to the skeleton

tunnel that once carried walkers back to the city.

Who knows if it will ever be rebuilt.

For now a gaping rainbow, like a child’s smile

when she finds the silver dollar

under her pillow and understands

sacrifice for the first time in her life.

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