over the bridge

by underswansea


It started right there below red willow and a path through silt. The bridge was lost in the flood of 64. The road was muck in spring and fall. They rebuilt the bridge two years later out of lumber stolen from the mill up Edgewater way. The pilings were fir floated down Toby. The muskrats and beavers played hell with the road. It took the whole town with shovels to get it back in shape. Once it was done they had a picnic and played a game of baseball. Willie Lloyd broke his ankle when he stepped in a gopher hole. They propped him up. Set his leg as best they could. He watched the rest of the game. Had a second helping of slaw. The bridge lasted forty years. There was pull off on the Wilmer side. Plenty of babies were conceived down there, between the Columbia and jagged sky, now littered with wine bottles, beer tins, cigarette butts and an old sofa, left abandoned. I sat there plenty, expecting a shrink or hooker to approach. But only crows and coyotes showed. I kept reaching between the cushions for a few rare coins left behind. Plenty have come before and coughed their way out. It doesn’t make me worry, as long as the river flows and stars stay overhead.