#170: Bridges


My mother hated bridges.
She hated driving; she would do it
if she absolutely had to, but
she would never drive across a bridge.
She did not trust them to support her
or she did not trust herself to drive straight across,
afraid of a fatal tack to the left or to the right,
into oncoming traffic or into the river,
both terrifying possibilities.
She no longer drives, period, so
avoiding bridges is no longer an issue.
I don’t care much for driving either
but I am not afraid of bridges.
We have about as many types of bridges
as the Eskimos are purported to have
words for snow.  Our friends, the bridges,
we cannot, must not fear them.
Bridges must be crossed and we must cross them.
Who could stand to be forever stuck
on one side of the river or the bay?
Who could stand never to cross over?
Who could possibly stomach all that swimming?
Who else but my mother could afford the
steep fees of the ferryman only to avoid bridges?

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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