At This Narrow Bridge Again
@Mary Walker Baron
Here we are again at this narrow bridge
Ready to begin our annual crossing --
Returned to this moment by ancient migratory
Patterns mapped in stone.
For a month we’ve wondered
What to bring – how best to pack and what to wear -- .
Difficult preparations even though
We try to make them every year.
I always over pack and now at this
Pre-crossing liminal moment I wonder –
Will I really need a flashlight?
If I haven’t yet read that issue of ‘Scientific American’
I bought on impulse last year at the Jet Blue
Terminal of JFK maybe I should admit
That I’ll never read it
And leave it behind.
I open my pack for a final inventory before
Stepping on to the bridge. Does my Zip Lock
Bag of anger weigh too much? Is my Nalgene
Bottle of tears absolutely necessary? Did I pack
Enough hope and forgiveness? Where is that
Stuff bag of patience I meant to take? Is there
Time to repack before I cross to the other side?
Is anyone less prepared than I?
Rav Nachman -- our tour guide – said that
The important thing is to not be afraid.
I just heard a scream. No wait. We’ve heard
That sound before -- our shrieking
Hollow filled with awe horn
Reminding us to watch our steps.
This bridge between our sunsets is, indeed,
Narrow. Each year we journey together we
Become better packers. We learn to travel
Lightly. The anger was too heavy. Tears once
Shed are gone forever. Maybe the flashlight is
Still a good idea. We make these crossings
Together to steady and prepare for the moment
We must cross the bridge alone – comforted by
Our yearly migrations to sacred moments at this