THE OLD COVERED BRIDGE
One birch, close by, already bare
With a taste of frost in the air
And this sturdy, old, covered bridge – this haven -
Strong tiled, tightly sided. A few slats still thrive -
Strips of weathered-green survive.
Looking far, from Terry’s Mount,
At distance she commands the eye -
Her autumn regalia, the peaks, gold-burnished dell
And the mill-side water’s ebb and swell
One’s fancy cannot help but dwell on a few histories
Imagining, within, the seasonal mysteries
The few been herded o’er,
How the boards did rattle,
The frightened, mooing-roar of cattle,
Stomping, desperation. And old herder Jim –
Yelling, shooing, face beat red.
Twas near the end of him.
I’m limping, all wore out,
We’re near a half-mile from home
Old covered bridge looked so good.
Inside, all was safe, and dry the sure-caulked wood.
Outside, the tempest’s blast, high drifts a fright
She saved us did old covered bridge that awful night.
Worst winter folks could remember
Storm after storm beginning early November
Come March, though, those roiling, boiling clouds abated,
Temperature soared, the record heavy fall quickly melted.
Old covered bridge, standing high, was tested, belted,
Floor washed away, but, in the main, saved those dreadful days.
I sit, thinking, 3:00 a.m., can’t sleep.
Pitch black, but the Moon kisses her silver tiles
What phantoms lurk beneath, what secrets does she keep -
All those midnight rendezvous, young men’s loving wiles,
All the rustic yearnings born of mere, solitary charm,
All those fond, romantic plans hatched within her kindling arms.