Across This Bridge

Across This Bridge

I shiver
halfway across the bridge
open metal lattice for a deck
the shiny water reflecting up
from below. I see trees
wavering in the current
I feel the flicker of them
in my stomach.
I slide my feet along on top of the trees
the knobbly grate
grabbing the soles of my shoes and
I know I know
I will fall through
any one of these four-inch grid sections
that cares to take me each one
a vortex pulling down hard

It’s too much. I veer to the rail
sweep my hand along the scabby metal
sharp rust flakes line up in my palm
in time with my steps and
I don’t care as long as
if only
I can get across this bridge


10 thoughts on “Across This Bridge

    • Thank you. It’s from a real experience. I crossed the bridge on Fetters Mill Road (that intersects the Pennypack trail). It’s been closed to road traffic for repairs so I could do so. I got two-thirds across and almost could not go on. I was terrified. I finished crossing so I could rest up. The return trip, I went fast and I will never go on that bridge again on foot.

  1. I just read your comments above, so I know it’s a real experience, but it almost seems like a nightmare. I guess it was nightmarish at the time!

    • Yes. I didn’t expect the reaction I had, I just thought I’d take the opportunity to explore a little. Well, guess what, not trying it again! I honestly almost dropped to hands and knees and crawled.

      • Wow! I’m glad they didn’t have to send someone to get you!
        Our children’s stuffed animal friends (real, you understand) were scared of bridges. The Walt Whitman was the alien bridge, and the Ben Franklin was the monster bridge. For some reason, the Commodore Barry was OK, and it was “the cool bridge.” They even had a song about it. 😀

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