The Bridge That Wasn’t

GloMoWriMo Day 13 Prompt is as follows:

‘Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something mysterious and spooky! Your poem could be about something that is mysterious and spooky in a bad way (like a witch), or mysterious and spooky in a good way (possibly also like a witch? It depends on the witch, I guess!) Or just the everyday, mysterious, spooky quality of being alive.

My response is to relate, in rhyme, a true story from my early days of courtship:

The Phantom Bridge

One day a lot of years ago
Girlfriend and I to river went,
And had a picnic there, you know,
Until the day was nearly spent.

My German Shepherd also came
To that old and deserted farm,
Joined freely in each little game,
For, there, could come to little harm.

We made a fire and cooked our meat,
While darkness we all slowly knew,
When suddenly, from warm retreat,
The atmosphere to alien grew.

I looked to river: saw a sight
That sent some shivers down my spine:
Something was crossing there that night,
That caused, from dog, a little whine.

I could this thing not clearly see;
As if through corner’f eye came through;
And then my girlfriend said to me
With trembling voice, ‘D’you see it, too?’

The dog was clearly petrified,
And we decided then to leave,
All car doors were now open wide,
As if departure to receive!

Dog on her lap the whole way back,
A-tremble; we were glad to get
To city lights; before, the lack
Was something we had wanted met.

But, over weeks we then discussed;
Decided the whole thing had been
Imagination, and we’d fussed
Smoke into something awful seen.

Her dad knew that whole area well,
One day she asked, quite casually,
If, on that bend, he could her tell,
There once had been a bridge to see?

‘That haunted farm? Tragic, my dear,
For all the dwellers met their end;
No bridge as such crossed there, but weir
Once spanned the river on that bend.’

© April 2019 Colonialist

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Africa, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Dogs, Excursions, Gardens, GloPoWriMo, Poems, Rhyme and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Bridge That Wasn’t

  1. Now if I was into writing poetry and had to do what you’ve just slaughtered. I’d have had to use my my subject


  2. A spooky tale indeed, Col. At least you lived to tell it. 😅


  3. GP Cox says:

    Best I could do on short notice….
    I sat up in a sweat, I had heard a sound,
    Slowly I rose to have a look around.
    Closer I stepped, fearing for my life,
    I screamed & I froze – it’s my ex-wife!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Calmgrove says:

    A piece of doggerel (with a dog too!) that comes across as a genuine folk ballad — yes, I know you’re ‘folk’ and it’s a ballad — and therefore extremely effective. A creepy start to my morning!


  5. perdebytjie says:

    Jy het dit baie goed neergepen..ek was in spanning tot aan die einde!


  6. vuurklip says:

    A true story:
    We, some MCSA hikers on an alien vegetation hack, were in a derelict farm house on Brandewyn’s Kuil. A farm, appropriately, was/is situated on the foothills of Towerkop, near Ladysmith. The farmer kindly allowed us the use of the unfurnished house.
    There we were, sitting on the kitchen floor around a single lit candle on a cold winter’s night, a fire going in the old stove, when, slowly, the kitchen door swung open.
    Someone said: It’s a ghost!
    I answered: He’s welcome, but please shut the door.
    And, slowly, the door shut again.
    No one said anything for a long while …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kristin says:

    I had to look up “weir” and imagining that they all drowned, back before they turned into ghosts.


    • colonialist says:

      I actually have no idea on what really happened, or whether the sighting was of a ghost. But, just when we’d convinced ourselves it was all imagination, we got that bit of information . . . It freaked us out.


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