On Broken Hollow Bridge

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Answering Darlene Howard’s snotty dare,
I hoisted myself up to the handrail,
as thick as a balance beam, but slick
with summer rain and wet rust.
Knees bent, arms out to my sides,
I straightened, chin up, staring ahead.
Kicking off my sandals, I took
my first tentative steps, peeling corrosion
sticking to my skin, the creak of old hinges
swaying in my ears. Slipping, I landed
on one knee, catching myself
before falling. Later, someone told me
kids watching from below all gasped,
and then cheered and clapped.
I should have heard them. But I didn’t.
All I heard was rattling and a low rumble
as if these tracks abandoned for years,
were ready, once again, to carry a train.


Pittsburgh Quarterly is now accepting submissions for its online poetry feature. PQ Poem is seeking poetry from local, national and international poets that highlight a strong voice and good use of imagery, among other criteria. To have your work featured, send up to three previously unpublished poems in Word or PDF format as well as a brief bio to . Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but if work is accepted elsewhere, please alert us.


Karen J. Weyant

Karen J. Weyant’s most recent collection of poetry, “Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt,” won Main Street Rag’s 2011 Chapbook contest and was published in 2012. Her poetry has appeared in Chautauqua, Cave Wall, Copper Nickel, Harpur Palate, Poetry East, Rattle, River Styx, Slipstream, Spillway, Tahoma Literary Review and Whiskey Island. Her work has also appeared in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net Anthology. She lives in Warren, PA, and teaches at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York.

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