This week’s poem offers nothing more – and nothing less – than an image of an “El” train bridge in Chicago that sticks with the speaker. Who knows why such an image – or any image – would lodge itself in a person, but when that happens, we should pay attention to it. By implication, this poem asks, what “particular beauty” has lodged itself in you?

Anne Tommaso lives in Portland and teaches English at Yarmouth High School.


By Anne Tommaso

The staccato of lug nuts,

insistent repetition of I-beams.

Girders, vertebrae

responsible for the break

up of the sky.


But then put back together

on the pavement,

in negative, stretched

by the low sun at six.


I know

the particular beauty

of lower Wabash

under the El

with the working,

walking people on a late

afternoon in June –

or is it early evening?


No matter.


It’s that time

when the afternoon

and evening

are becoming each other.


I miss that city.

There, I said it.


Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2018 Anne Tommaso. It appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to

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