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And now the bridge is gone

August 16, 2011

And now the bridge is gone

As the piers arose from the waters,
foundations erected within pontoons
that kept the flowing waters at bay -
did they think -
it would last forever?

Did the masons erect the stone,
quarried from the nearby hills,
thinking they could conquer the river,
that the rushing currents would work no mischief,
the horses could trod the covered bridge
without fear,
safe from the winds, the rains, the elements?

Occasionally the river would test their mettle.
The waters would swell, muddied,
overflowed its banks, spilled into the low-lying plains.

When finished they met in the center length,
erected the American, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey flags,
the ribbon cut.
Celebrated man’s conquest of nature.

Thereafter the river would taunt them
rise up within a few inches of the main beam.
With the aid of the winds
slap against the wooden span
taunting, biding its time
waiting for the gods to give the word.
Then in ’54, as most of the workmen lie close to their deathbeds
the waters rose up
grabbed debris cast aside
by the lands which sought to be cleansed,
and while curious onlookers

watched what had not been seen for one hundred years,
the waters took a tree trunk
smashed it against the interloper -

and then the bridge was gone

except for the abutments and piers
which the masons knew when erected -
would last virtually forever.

Ray Brown

Consider purchasing my book of poems,“I Have His Letters Still” – Poetry of Everyday Life ($11.95). Available on Amazon at or purchase an autographed copy at

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 4:59 pm

    It would appear that the predictions about global warming may have some validity…thanks for sharing this poem.

  2. August 17, 2011 9:46 am

    good work.

    but have u ever considered eliminating definite articles?

  3. Stan permalink
    August 17, 2011 11:23 am

    Wow, Ray. I feel like I was there! Thanks. –Stan

  4. Ray Brown permalink*
    August 17, 2011 3:04 pm

    I am always open to any suggestions. Not quite sure to what you are referring. Can you give me an example?

  5. Ray Brown permalink*
    August 17, 2011 3:04 pm

    Did you get a good photo of the Herron?

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