Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Shot Wednesday

The new oldest covered bridge in MA (rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original structure)
This poem was recently published in a slim volume of poetry created for the dedication of a small town park and river access ramp along the river south of the bridge. I often walk down by the river and spend a lot of time in and around this bridge. The original bridge was built in 1854, was added to National Register of Historic Places in 1978, was restored in 1981, burned to the ground in 1994 and was reconstructed in 1999.

Covered Bridge Thoughts


The way the sun paints my walls
in broad strokes
and diagonal slashes,
illuminating initials twined in hearts,
and the mud-plastered swallow’s nest
on the highest rafter—

The way the restless water murmurs
of muskrats and marsh grass
and the far places from which it has fled
as it rushes seaward—

The echo of feet on my rough planks,
and the cavernous, roofed darkness—
Either end brings the traveler into the light again
or out of the rain.

The strength of my trusses
like great arms lifting,
and the grace of my span—
river, wood, and a trust in design
meant to reconcile the gap between
here and there.
I am the bridge.

for One Shot Wednesday #46

19 comments:

Brian Miller said...

love how you bring the bridge alive with the textures...the intials carved, the swallows nest, the creaking...well played and congrats on the publishing...

lynnaima said...

Congratulations, nice imagery :)

KidDenverPoet said...

Congrats from me too. Love bridges. You captured all the nuances internal and external. Excellent.

Henry Clemmons

Mystic Margarita said...

Beautiful -- I can see the bridge you wrote about when I close my eyes. :)

KB said...

Beautiful pic and words.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice thoughts, a good visual was produced.Two counties over has a collection of bridges that served for the backdrop of the movie,"Bridges of Madison County".

Marion said...

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit a covered bridge. They fascinate me...your poem brings them to life. I imagine all the generations of people who had trysts or just travelled through a covered bridge.

I'm so glad it was reconstructed...so much of the old has not. xo

Stafford Ray said...

Yes you 'are the bridge' taking us 'from here to there' with this poem.
I always wondered about covered bridges, then realised that they make sense, keeping snow and rain off the structure and offering building options with trussing, as you suggest, so much stronger by virtue of height.

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

A nice thought to start your poem with and it just keeps better. Lovely picture

Joanna Jenkins said...

So lovely. You made me smile.
cheers, jj

Pauline said...

Brian - the new bridge lacks the old charm of the deteriorating one from my childhood but I love walking through it and hearing the echoes of my footsteps. To speak poetry inside it is to have an audience!

lynn -thank you

Henry (KDP), thanks - words are great playthings, aren't they?

I've done my work well, then Mystic M - thanks

Thank KB

OUTP - loved that book and the movie as well. My daughter visited those bridges on her drive through Madison County

Marion - come for a visit. we will walk through that bridge!

Stafford - they are charmingly efficient structures.

Thanks for stopping by Kodjo

JJ - glad to do it :)

Judith said...

The point of view makes all the difference, it makes me really THINK about the bridge in a way I wouldn't if it were a human observer.

mindlovemisery said...

Stunning imagery =)

patteran said...

Fortunate bridge to be celebrated so lyrically.

liv2write2day said...

Very much enjoyed your personification of the bridge and the images you create in this one.

Barbara said...

So perfectly told from the standpoint of the bridge!

Pauline said...

Judith - thanks - sometimes this works

thanks MLM

Dick - this was my first publicly published poem!

thank you liv2

Barbara - I trend to personify everything!

Friko said...

I just read your comment on my post, this is my reply:

if you didn't stop to ponder, you wouldn't be able to write so feelingly about the thoughts of a bridge.

I know which people I prefer, you are one of them.

Pauline said...

Friko - we're two peas in a pod :)