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Shari Hemsley
Poet
I grew up in Syracuse, the Erie Canal close by. During ice-cold winters the canal would freeze over; we’d bring our skates and thermoses of hot cocoa down to the ditch. Later in life it became a glorious place to walk with cherished friends, mulling over matters big and small.

I think about its history back to the days my ancestors worked on the construction of this engineered wonder. It started out as just a ditch but it revolutionized trade, commerce, and transportation. Old Sal was the mule in the popular song “15 miles on the Erie Canal”: she did her part, too.

Businesses began popping up along the canal. Ideas and movements grew like the Women’s Rights Movement. It was a passageway for change and progress. The story of the Erie Canal always captures my attention. It brought the world to the people.

The Syracuse Poster Project brings poets and artists together. It’s been an honor, and exciting to be a part of this visual haiku magic.

Travel the wide bank,
Follow Old Sal's towpath steps;
Eighth worldly wonder

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