Thomas M. McDade: “Christo’s Bridge”

 

 

Christo’s Bridge

The bookstalls have opened
A woman, a copy of Catherine Deneuve
Holds a paper that will find an apartment
Christo’s work on the Pont Neuf is progressing
Imagine a bridge wearing a jacket
He wants to strip away detail 
With his fabric, reveal basic form
The guide on the boat tour
Describes sites in French
A young American translates
A worker sandblasts graffiti on a quoi
A group of children, observe Christo’s art
People waiting at a bus stop gaze 
At us perhaps with envy or disdain
The Concorde Bridge built
Of stones from the Bastille
Is where the boat turns
No mention of the strike
By the bargemen 
Their crafts decorated with mums
And geraniums who are blocking
The Seine over
Christo’s shenanigans
Homeless beneath the Louis Philippe
Sit on sleeping bags and smoke
A couple of them fish with long pipes
One is reading a book
Others wave weakly
Some passengers might wish
The artist would bag them too
I can’t see Catherine Deneuve
Or her lookalike concurring
I hope the latter has found an address
We pass a film barge
The marquee is blank
So much for coincidence

 

About the Author: Thomas M. McDade is a 74-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF 1091).

 

More By Thomas M. McDade:

Puff of Eternal Hot Air

 

Image Credit: Edouard Baldus “View of Seine River, looking toward Notre-Dame” [between 1851 and 1870] The Library of Congress

Thomas M. McDade: “Puff of Eternal Hot Air”

 

 

Puff of Eternal Hot Air

Sometimes I think I sleepwalked 
Into an obliteration chamber that failed
Leaving me merely invisible

Take the time stranded in a long line
At a Dollar Tree, while the clerk inflated
A bunch of balloons and that break 

In the action gave an elderly woman time 
To take the floor to share a piece of her life 
She tells my wife, “Someday you’ll do this”

While holding up a bunch of artificial flowers
She’s going to place on her husband’s grave
I might as well have been hanging in effigy 

Off an errant balloon that the A/C 
Is bouncing along the ceiling for tots
Considering methods to go airborne

Her hubby fought in WWII and they were
Engaged before she finished high school 
He insisted on a diploma before wedding

I imagine inhaling helium and freaking 
Her out as if my voice were from a crypt
Landscaped with palms tall and plastic

Outside I say no blossoms or Mylar tributes
For me and I recall the clerk revealing that
The world supply of helium is waning

I release my some-morning-I-will-not-rise 
Fear as a mere puff of eternal hot air as any 
Man acquainted with invisibility might do

 

About the Author: Thomas M. McDade is a 74-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF 1091).

 

Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Hot Air Balloon Jubilee Festival, Decatur, Alabama” (2010) The Library of Congress