The Aerial Lift Bridge

Hey Duluthers. I’m in college in Idaho and I lived in Wisconsin, but I’ve spent many good times at my grandparents’ on Jefferson Street in Duluth (when will the city repave it?). So I thought I’d share this poem with y’all. It was for a class last year. (c) Moses Bratrud 2011, mos_bratrud @

The Aerial Lift Bridge

At the terminus of plains and lakes,
Where the Rust Belt is buckled,
There is a bridge that shinnies up to let ships under.
Linking twisty sandbars
In this zephyr city of the unsalted seas.

The Atlantic is many lakes and locks away.
This bridge is the end of St. Lawrence,
Of the patron seaway of a martyred archdeacon.

A thousand-foot ship approaches.
The MV Tregurtha,
Loaded with iron ore for China’s forges.
Iron ore from the pit mines of the Mesabi Range.
The lift-bridge goes up.

I watch my Grandfather sketch the ships, a Bloody Mary in his hand.

The Aerial Lift Bridge elevates slowly. It baptizes by the name
Of St. Lawrence and his Seaway. Tregurtha, ship of the covenant.

Duluth. Decanter of ore and grain by train and sea.
Town of the lift bridge, city of the Seaway.
Gateway to the greatest lakes.



about 11 years ago

Someone should publish a book of poems and photos of the lift bridge...or has it been done already?


about 11 years ago

Not a book of poems, but Crossing the Canal by Tony Dierckins has great history and plenty of amazing photos of the bridge.

Tony D.

about 11 years ago

Thanks for the plug, Mashtater!

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