Half-way across, we pause
At a crack in the pavement,
Imagine meridians or boundaries,
Equators, or the borders of countries.
Lines that mark the choices
And transitions of our known world,
Defining ‘here’ and ‘there’
As if real places on our map.
But ‘here’ has not lived up to expectations
And ‘there’, although attractive,
Has elements of uncertainty,
So we hesitate before taking the next step.
How we got here does not matter;
Any route would have led us to this bridge
At this point in time,
For every life has many routes,
And crossing points.
Yet we linger on this cusp
Delaying our decision,
Not striving for equality or balance,
For that would give no reason to continue.
So, looking over the rail
At the river rippling and swerving beneath,
We seek within its deep mysteries
The silver fish of wisdom
That will help us choose.
Plunging from the bridge we splash around
Grasping handfuls of water,
Smashing filaments of light,
Until we find that, surprisingly,
We’re holding, wriggling in our hands,
Exactly what we need.
Now it’s served its purpose,
The bridge dissolves, merges with the stream.
Having arrived, it’s time to leave –
We cannot stay a minute longer;
And no good looking back.
For every choice we made
Collapsed another bridge.
We leave a trail of fond memories
And find ahead another bridge
As yet uncrossed, which we approach
With cheerful heart.
© 2015 Peter Young
Top photo: The new Chinese Bridge at Croome Court, National Trust
Bottom photo: Water flowing over the weir on the River Avon at Nafford, near Pershore, WR10 3DJ