THE OLD BRIDGE
The bridge was built in 'Twenty-three,
When the old men of today were kids,
That was the year the engineers cheered,
At such a progressive and modern bridge.
The bridge was made of concrete and steel,
With girders, and trusses, and beams,
A spectacular man-made structure,
A bridge builder's finest dream.
High up over a mountain gorge,
With swirling waters below,
Philosophically and logically,
The site couldn't be more apropos.
Aesthetic, too, in every way.
Enfolded in nature's arms,
The bridge appeared almost to take root,
And developed its own simple charm.
It seemed to acquire God-given rights,
Like those granted to shrubs and trees,
Men often forgot the bridge was man-wrought,
And had not evolved naturally.
Over the years it stood sturdy and strong,
And claimed God's and man's respect,
It survived the weather and elements,
And even man's thoughtless neglect.
At the winter's cold or the summer's heat,
The bridge would contract or expand,
Smart bridge; it knew just what to do,
As if planned by God, not by man.
If a tourist were lucky enough,
To stumble upon such a treat,
The view alone, like a fine gem-stone,
Would make his journey complete.
A man with an elbow propped on the rail,
And a fishing pole held in his hands,
Without so much as catching a fish,
Would have fulfilled some inner demand.
A bridge is a bridge is a bridge,
Meaning different things to different folks,
Crossing over can be a start or an end,
A challenge - a surrender - or both.
It's a way of reaching the big, wide world,
But it's also a means of retreat,
It's sad when a man burns his bridges,
The results more bitter than sweet.
But, tough and strong, old bridges hang on,
Still providing the way and the means,
It's not their fault, if men don't go out,
In pursuit of their aims and their dreams.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright June 2003