Burn the Bridge

I imagine you think I lit the flame
That would burn the bridge
Between our islands

Perhaps it was an accident
A spark let loose from a temper
Allowed to burn from youth
Too distracted to pay attention
To the fire caused by inaction

And yet the bridge held out
With only occasional flare ups
Quelled without effort
As living tissue and living
Relationships are water filled

I imagine you think I fanned the flame
That would burn the bridge
Between our islands

I could have been better
A bridge needs maintenance
And I did not maintain
I did not cross it enough
To know it was cracking and dry

And yet you did not notice
The damage of the bridge
Perhaps we were too busy
Walking the other ones
New or still being built

I imagine you think I fanned the flame
That would burn the bridge
Between our islands

I shouted at you that this bridge
Was likely to crumble, to fall
Because you wouldn’t help
(A bridge has two ends)
It was nice if you would wave

I should have walked over
Put in new boards and nails
Lacquered and waterproofed
New experiences to strengthen
The structure of something grand

I imagine you think I fanned the flame
That would burn the bridge
Between our islands

It was a pretty thing but old
The wood so dry and creaking
It was nostalgia covered in ivy
Childhood strength without
The endurance of adulthood

We were busy building other bridges
A bunch of sturdy basic wooden ones
From mine to other islands
And one elaborate marble one
You built with a newer friend

I imagine you think I fanned the flame
That would burn the bridge
Between our islands

Marble won’t burn, will wear down
Slower from any neglect
It won’t dry and crack and break
The same as the wooden bridges
That children build by the dozens

And yet these wooden bridges
Are carved and painted
Colored with life, worn down
And can be rebuilt easily
By a skillful carpenter hand

I imagine you think I fanned the flame
That burned the bridge
Between our islands

We both fanned the flame
We both neglected the fire
Now imagine the hands that can build
And imagine the arms that can swim

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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