(Ode to the Hoan Bridge, one day before it buckles)

13 inches at the airport
and the storm, spent, has pulled up stakes,
now plods east over Lake Michigan

I ascend the bridge over the port,
and steer carefully between snow ruts,
reaching the apex, and there,
beauty greets me, and beauty
begs me to stop.

A wall of cumulus stratus,
opaque and coiffed like the
wig of a Revolutionary general,
rides straight-backed toward Michigan.

The battlement leaves tendrils
of steam in its wake. This abandoned
legion of castaways
floats ghostly
onsteel grey water, like memories.

A barge cuts the flat waters of the bay,
halfway from dock to breakwater.
the sun from slate sky
drops a pale curtain,
lights the barge, turns
the cloud wall a shocking white
and dusts the waters with gold.

I drive 40 miles an hour but
the moment is mercury.

Concrete barricades rise
as I descend into the city.
The residue of this winter storm
which shed its hoary skin before retreat
seems but an ephemeral visitation,
nothing left behind
but possibility.

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