Manhattan Bridge Loop, 1928

The eye moves uncomfortably through
the rectilinear scene. A high wall, dark
with menace, bias-cuts the composition,
dividing the dingy foreground from brick
or stone fronts of tenements beyond.
Sunlit windows, small in the distance,
appear uninhabited, vacant of life.

Near the edge, a sliver of light spills
on the grey shoulders and cap
of a trudging man, stooped as if bearing
a weight of worry or loneliness,
overwhelmed by the looming shadow
of the forbidding wall.

David Olsen