The Woman on the Bridge Over the Chicago River

by Allen Grossman

Allen Grossman

Stars are tears falling with light inside.
In the moon, they say, is a sea of tears.
It is well known that the wind weeps.
The lapse of all streams is a form of weeping,
And the heaving swell of the sea.

Weep from the cliffs;
The gnat weeps crossing the air of a room;
And a moth weeps in the eye of the lamp.
Each leaf is a soul in tears.

Roses weep
In the dawn light. Each tear of the rose
Is like a lens. Around the roses the garden
Weeps in a thousand particular voices.
Under earth the bones weep, and the old tears
And new mingle without difference.
A million years does not take off the freshness
Of the calling.

Eternity and Time
Grieve incessantly in one another’s arms.
Being weeps, and Nothing weeps, in the same
Night-tent, averted,
Yet mingling sad breaths. And from all ideas
Hot tears irrepressible.

In a corner
Of the same tent a small boy in a coat
Sobs and sobs,

while under the Atlantic
Depth and Darkness grieve among the fountains,
And the fountains weep out the grieving sea.

O listen, the steam engines shunt and switch
Asleep in their grieving. A sad family
In the next house over shifts mournfully
About staining the dim blind. The boy looks up
As the grieving sound of his own begetting
Keeps on,
And his willow mother mars her mirror
Of the lake with tears.

It is cold and snowing
And the snow is falling into the river.
On the bridge, lit by the white shadow of
The Wrigley building
A small woman wrapped in an old blue coat
Staggers to the rail weeping.

As I remember
The same boy passes, announcing the fame
Of tears, calling out the terms
In a clear way, translating to the long
Dim human avenue.

Last updated November 02, 2022