Henry Hudson

by Richard Sime | March 18, 2013

We play a hundred feet beneath his feet: I kick the ball,
she chases it. She’ll paw and nose it some
before she brings it back, though at times she won’t.
Then I fetch. So I move across the plaza, behind me Henry
looming in the sun, weathered to a greenish blue,
his pantaloons billowed by the wind, or his ego.
 
We’re not supposed to do this—no dogs
off leash from 9 to 9, daytime. Loosely enforced, yet
the drunk who stalks the park with pigeons on her head
shot us a dirty look. But it’s spring today, spring,
and from what may be the highest point in Spuyten Duyvil,
Henry is beaming southward to the city. Near that abandoned
park down on the river, some say he parked his ship.
 
Robert Moses, the “master builder,” put him up there
on a decades-old column, finishing Henry’s monument at last,
while below he blasted the parkway through.
An unkind cut, trees and buildings now stitching
the wound. New tempering old, I suppose, though
Henry stands here feet planted wide as if he’s
just arrived on the quarterdeck of De Halve Moon.
 
I feel old today. Well, yesterday. Hard to stay down, with a dog.
Last night I said, “She’s the light of my life,” and now the sun
gleams in her inky russet eyes and she’s smiling.
Or just breathing. But content. Both of us content:
This morning crossing his bridge on the Harlem we could see Henry
levitating above the trees. Invader? Despoiler? We’re here.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/112430/henry-hudson-poem-richard-sime