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The Swinging Bridge of Osage

By Jim Echols

Few are the places that will know
A bridge like ours of long ago
A bridge with built in droop and sag
a bridge that seemed to bounce and wag
When met by children streaming down
The hill from school above the town
Inviting them to stop and play
When lessons ended for the day.
Three planks in width on cable bound
To pilings far above the ground
In light breeze rocking to and fro
spanning the gorge and stream below
Rising and dipping end to end
Cavorting in the gale force wind
Long lean and limber, high it hung
That bridge we knew when we were young.
Our step-saving shortcut, playmate, friend

No longer dances in the wind
Or stands amused as wild floods try
To loose her legs while raging by.
At last her cables were undone
Time and the changing scene had won
No more to bounce, no more to sway
Our bridge was felled and cleared away.
Winds now without a bridge to shake
Stir surface ripples on the lake
Which came and claimed forevermore
So many things we knew before.
Young shouts that once rang from the hill
As sleeping echoes linger still
But wake for memory to hear
When hearts are tuned to yesteryear.

Reprint from a 1996 AMEA Publications issue of Hobbie$, Etc.

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