To Be a Covered Bridge


I like people who are like covered bridges,
sturdy and solid as houses, peaceful, still,
upright and bridging wide gulfs.

They take the high road. Their troubles wash away,
like floodwaters diverted into channels
fringed with loosestrife and cattails.

They shed heavy disapproval
like snowfall from a pitched roof,
as if the sun is always shining for them.

They always seem to be going somewhere
yet seem as if they’ve arrived where needed,
as if they are always in exactly the right spot.

They find the blue sky, never lose sight of
the light at the end of the tunnel and always take time
for picnics beside streams dancing with dragonflies.

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: This photo was taken at Old Sturbridge Village this Spring, but the poem took much longer to surface. I contemplated peace in anticipation of the International Day of Peace (September 19). In the end, this poem was inspired by a Marge Piercy poem in The Woman in this Poem, Selected and Introduced by Georgia Heard, Rubicon Publishing, Inc, 2015.

Here, I found Marge Piercy reading her iconic poem, To Be of Use:

Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for hosting and congratulations to her on the publication of her new book, Read! Read! Read!

Poetry Friday Heron

84 thoughts on “To Be a Covered Bridge

  1. I’d like believe I’m like a covered bridge, but I have a bad back and therefore am not sturdy.
    Although, perhaps emotionally sturdy could work.
    A deep poem, Brenda, because you “like people who are like” ….. and I like you, and want you to like me.
    Does that make sense?
    Really a thinking work by you! XO

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: To Be a Covered Bridge — Friendly Fairy Tales | By the Mighty Mumford
  3. Oh, gosh! I love this. As I read, I was reminded of Marge Piercy’s poem, which I also adore. What a delight to find it was the inspiration. You have me wanting to try this. Your photo is a marvel as well. I like people who are like covered bridges too, but I never knew it before now. Thank you. Peace. x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m in love with Georgia Heard’s collection and every time I turn to it, I find inspiration. Your covered bridge poem resonates with me. I don’t see many covered bridges in our neck of the woods. I am drawn in by your image and your words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’ve been there! Yay! I thought surely someone will have been. It’s funny, but I think I visited way back then, too. It was fun to bring my kids. It was completely different than being there with my parents. And I learned all about making butter. They used to store it for long periods in salt water before refrigeration. Who knew?


  5. Oh, what a lovely poem! There’s so much to aspire to in your first stanza:
    “sturdy and solid as houses, peaceful, still,
    upright and bridging wide gulfs.”
    Our world needs more people like covered bridges. Thanks for this beautiful poem. It’s a keeper and perfect for today.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is great, Brenda! I would say it’s one of my favourites of yours. I was particularly captured by this stanza:

    They always seem to be going somewhere
    yet seem as if they’ve arrived where needed,
    as if they are always in exactly the right spot.

    Did you have someone particular in mind when you wrote this?
    (I enjoyed the Piercy reading too. I’ve never seen her reading. Thanks!)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I like people who are like covered bridges, too… I try to be better each day… If you know Scorpios, our feelings might put us in tough situations. But at least, each one of us know how we are and which our intentions are (unless our sense of wrong and right, unfair and fair is totally mistaken, which is objectively not my case)… The poem is beautiful & truly resonated with me … Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

      • Your comment back to me is beautiful… I agree with you. At least we know that we are sensitive… At the end of the day, what counts the most is what we left in this world, as I believe it is mostly about energy and making a difference (humbly speaking!, LOL) . We can let others put us down. And let the “noise” disort everything… But at the end, we know. That´s enough for me…. 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my, you took my breath away with this one. LOVE the covered bridge metaphor. So much food for thought in this one, and I like the feeling of reassurance and calm. Gorgeous photo! Magical . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I, too, find delight in your “dancing with dragonflies” line. We have a butterfly garden at my library and I’ve seen more dragonflies (or damselflies?) than butterflies. I’m generally dodging dragonflies, but I prefer thinking of it as dancing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Brenda–a beautiful photo and a wonderful poem. I love the analogy and the images you crafted to create it. The mix of strength, purpose and play is powerful. Love that final optimistic stanza and those “dancing dragonflies”!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I really like covered bridges, we don’t have any that I know of around Chicago, but I traveled underneath them when out East. I like the analogy you are creating between the strength of a bridge and a persons character, but I also like the playfulness that you interject in your lines:
    “fringed with loosestrife and cattails.” And “for picnics beside streams dancing with dragonflies..” These lines are filled with light and airy imagery. I loved the poem you shared by Marge Piercy, and the connection your poem has with it, well done Brenda!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Brenda, your photo takes me to a place of peace right away. Then, your opening stanza once again gave me a peaceful signal. I would like to capture the photo and opening stanza for the fall gallery. It’s the last day of summer and I am still working on the summer gallery.

    Liked by 2 people

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