Opinion: Ode to a covered bridge

A black skeleton spanning across Otter Creek,
Its former self gone,
In a blaze of fire encompassing its entire span.
Gone in an instant.
All that is left is that black skeleton.
And memories in all the people who crossed the bridge,
By car, truck, foot or bicycle,
Either daily or every now and then.
On its eastern side the road cut a straight line across the farm fields straight onto the bridge.
Sometimes the fields were full of water as the creek overflowed.
A haven for wild ducks and birds.
Once in a while the farmer got in a crop of hay or maybe some corn.
Never knew from year to year what those fields would hold.
At the farthest end near the railroad track the fields often had cows grazing.
On the western end of the bridge there was a slight curve in the road as it came off the bridge.
One had to always be careful either coming or going to make sure there wasn’t another car entering or exiting.
Then you were once again in a straight line down through the middle of the swamp.
The swamp too was ever changing down through the seasons just like the farm fields.
In the summer it was often like going through a tunnel with the canopy of trees reaching across the road.
In the winter it was a wonderland when snow and water and ice did its magic,
As the snow came down, the water rising up and down freezing and thawing leaving ice tables clinging to the trees.
I wondered if winter fairies ate at those tables.
Spring often caused flooding over the road.
Fun to ride through the water before it got so deep the road had to be closed.
Fall of course brought color and maybe more flooding — one never knew.
It was a bridge to be shared with family and friends.
How many times I stopped with grandkids and friends to walk across the bridge.
How many pictures taken.
It was such a beautiful stretch of road with the bridge right in the middle taking you across the creek into two very different pieces of land, one the farm one the swamp.
There was just some type of magic going through the old wooden bridge and coming out into the farm land or the swamp land.
It almost always just took my breath away.
It’s gone now.
A black skeleton with only memories within our grasp.
The End
Frances Stone

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