The Railroad Bridge At Duanesburg

It had been, indeed almost constantly so,

Spotted and dotted with the odd bit of graffiti:

Hastily spray-painted citing of some school’s graduating class,

Irregularly shaped hearts bearing initials of couples

Whose undying fealty would not last the summer,

The odd cartoon figure, its subject occasionally discernible

But what had appeared on the old Buffalo-and-Boston railroad bridge

Was a different animal altogether,

Painstakingly crafted brushstrokes crossing t’s and gently rounding o’s,

The entire length spanning Route 20

Marked with a simple admonition—Just Love.

The DOT crew, adequately supplied with power washers and gray paint

And sufficiently featherbedded with summer help,

Sauntered in after the weekend to restore the overpass

To something akin to pristine condition,

But one of the summer kids (an accounting major

From the state school over in Cobleskill,

Probably knew who’d written this in the first place)

Hesitated before pulling the trigger on a sprayer.

Boss, he grumbled, It just don’t feel right blasting this off.

The foreman sighed (his disdain for the temp help

Bordering on downright mania most days)

I feel ya, kid, but the time to love yer fellow man

Is all off the clock.



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