ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


"The Bridge of Love", a poem by Pete Mladinic

Do you remember, entity out of time,
my Run, Jesse, run, echo of the Chicago
reverend’s late 80s presidential campaign?
Run, Jesse! Don’t let those birds, yellow
breasted kites, the bush you were in,
don’t let them get you! The summer night
you hobbled across the pond’s footbridge,
arc of wood slats, Harry MacAdams Park.

No one can take your place, but one has,
a dark four-legged bitch, (where you were
gold), smaller, a bit mean.  People say,
Oh, you’re sentimental: a dog with a dark
muzzle, a cropped tail.  I recall Jesse
at the bush, the footbridge, her last year.
You’re gone. Reverend Jackson is still here,
and Garret Hongo, in whose poem a man

came from Taiwan, only to be gunned down
outside a laundromat, a Chicago sidewalk.
Hongo the mentor, Hongo the master
says, Let me tell you so you won’t forget
the man’s dropped bag of laundry, glazed
eyes. Do you remember, entity out of time,
an hour?  An arching footbridge, Jackson’s
run, Hongo’s “The Legend,” life on earth?


Author Peter Mladinic’s fifth book of poems, Voices from the Past, is due out in November 2023 from Better Than Starbucks
Publications.   An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, United States.

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