When We Come To It
The road had been there since at least the 1830s,
if the cornerstone on the red farmhouse was right.
At some point it had been diverted up the hill,
rendering the little concrete bridge obsolete.
The boy had moved there in the 80s, into a log home
on what had been a vacant bit of hillside.
He found the bridge one day while exploring past the pond.
When he found the bridge, he found the creek.
It led back into acres of forest, all the way to the 4-H camp.
He followed the twisting water into the trees,
the sun’s rays reaching, but only just.
A few years later he brought a city kid out there.
The kid jumped out onto a tree limb hanging
over the water; the limb sprang up and tossed the kid
several feet. He was surprised but not hurt,
so neither of them mentioned it when they got back.
The boy had many adventures among the trees:
daring escapes and forest battles and wilderness hikes.
Even when somebody bought the plot of land next door,
he still snuck into the forest and followed the water.
Sometimes in the summer he could hear the PA system
from the 4-H camp, calling the campers to lunch or dinner.
Eventually he grew up and stopped visiting the bridge
and the creek and the forest. Then the house was sold.
The new owners changed the color.
/ / /
4 September 2023
This is poem 45 in a series called 50 Days Till 50 Years. I’m writing a poem a day for the 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday. I’m going to try to focus on memories of my past, and the people who inhabited it.