The Olmsted Bridge

Victoria Korth

Victoria Korth

The Olmsted Bridge was selected as part of MSU Library Short Edition's call for submissions on the theme of "Home," in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibition "Where We Dwell." Victoria Korth is the recipient of the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Poems have appeared in Broad River Review, Ocean State Review, Tar River Poetry, LEON Literary Review. Cord Color was released in 2015. Tacking Stitch is forthcoming. She is an MFA graduate of the Warren Wilson College as well as a practicing psychiatrist caring for the chronically mentally ill.

Genesee Valley Park, Rochester NY
for Hal

Standing on its slight arch in midsummer dusk
I smell the air this upstate park exhales
from oaks he planted, now knobs and knees two centuries old.
Acorns lodged between the bridge's shattered joints remind me,
you would have eased them out
and held them in your palm while leaning over to watch the carp.
There are still yellow flags on the bank, and planes
coming close as they approach the airport. There is still
the wish that you have held this place inside you.
Now parks are called green spaces.
Now your tie drags on a Brooklyn window sill
as you lean out to assure me, hey, the street is lined with trees.
Yet I worry whether you can breathe, so look up, as Olmsted may have,
and picture what he planned, you under his watchful oaks
rubbing clean his children's children—
your way across Long Meadow after work—
fringed acorns in your pocket.

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