Bridge & Tunnel Books

A Night at the Pump House

Fence by Jesse Welch

The fence closes off a closed mine

Sealing a place bankruptcy

Long since evacuated

The entrance to an exit

To a mine with no miners

But with miles of maze

Hardhat-high and hopeful for eternity

But completely empty

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Heather McAdams
The Brightest Light by Tess Allard

This is what it’s like to be someone’s first memory. You are table legs, sticky floor; you are old language lost to time. You are plump arms swinging Emma up towards the ceiling as she shrieks with boundless joy. You are dancing, laughing, smashing china for good luck. You are the impossible flame of the electric lights, which maybe she’s never seen before, living where she does. But you don’t know yet this is how she will remember you. You are still alive.

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Heather McAdams
Elsie by Jane Bernstein

First there was darkness and it seemed to last forever.  Packed into an airless crate, sent on a long journey by railroad from Syracuse, New York, to Rice’s Landing, Pennsylvania.  In the dark car, she had only the rhythmic clatter of wheels and the shriek of the train whistle for company. 

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Heather McAdams
Fairytale by Arlan Hess

Robby was gone and, for all Helen knew, he wasn’t coming back. He didn’t even look over his shoulder as he thundered through the doorway and disappeared into the unforgiving street. She’d never seen him so out of control. The shattered lamp. The overturned desk. In the thirteen years since they met, he’d never shown signs of violence or aggression, especially toward her. Even at the most overwhelming moments in their marriage, he’d shrug and say “Well, if that’s the worst thing that happens to us today, Princess, we’re doing all right.” That optimism was a quaint memory now, as naïve as the fairy tales her father read to her as a child before bed. The depth of Robby’s hostility surprised her and, for the moment, that cold shock prevented her from succumbing to grief.

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Heather McAdams
The Colliders by Jennifer Bannan

It is 1960 when they unveil the Westinghouse “W” on the atom smasher, a year since the death of Madeline’s husband. In that time her son learned his times tables, they bought their first TV at Sears and her car broke down. Which means she has learned, walking the two miles to work each day, that the rising and falling land that gives Forest Hills its name reminds her of the weave of a basket, knitted together loose and lumpy and giving her a giddy feeling. But maybe that’s because she’s also just recently fallen in love.

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Heather McAdams
Where You Came From by Anjali Sachdeva

The bridge stretches over the river, its span a cuprous green gone to rust. But before the rust, cars poured across, from coal mine to brickworks and back. Before the cars, the trains. Before that, a ferry, and before the ferry, horses feeling their way across the muddy bottom of the Youghiogheny until the water was too deep, current surging against the buckled muscles of their chests, the riders turning back. The river churned and chuckled its denial: go back to where you came from.

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Heather McAdams