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  • Two machines sat on the water like modern dinosaurs, breaking down rock pillars that used to anchor Pier 1/2 to the shore. The pier is gone now, torn out to make room for a better view.

    A crowd gathered to watch them work. They moved together, like living things. The backhoe nestled its bucket alongside the barge for its partner to fill, its claw nose rolling one rock into the basket, then another. I recognized the movement of a mother cow nudging her calf, birds turning eggs in their nest. Gentle, careful; excessively delicate motions for such big metal beasts.

    When their work was done they sat quietly, necks bent at the same graceful angle. Side by side, they stole a few moments of rest as the spectators turned away, strangely touched.
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