Tag Archives: social

The Burning of Mulberry Bridge

Small towns spring up in the craziest places sometimes.  Often the reason is forgotten.  Someone may have travelled to a point and given up.  They may have made a camp and just never left.  The area might have been really nice or just nice enough to not care about wanting more.  Maybe it wasn’t nice at all.  They were just stuck there.

No one gets to choose where they were born.  No one gets to choose their family.  Some people will go through their life with no thought towards this issue.

Somewhere in the eastern United States, two bridges stood far apart over a muddy river.  One bridge, Mulberry Bridge, was wooden and old.  It was worn down, creaking; it could barely support a passing car.  The other bridge was new, concrete and steel.  It was built for bad weather; meant to last for many years.  The two were polar opposites.  Built for similar purposes, they had completely different types of destinations.  One was built in haste, the other with dedication.

Mulberry Bridge connected a family to the rest of the world.  It was the only way onto their property.  They were fierce about their land, even plotting against one another for it.  They had no idea that no one else cared to own it.  They didn’t even realize that no one visited.  They all lived in the happy bliss of ignorance.  The show Days of Our Lives, could take notes from them, these masters of puppetry and oratory arts.  They plotted and schemed, ostracizing those that went against the grain.

The old bridge connected them to reality, jutting up to a major highway.  People passed the bridge, wondering why no one would fix it.  Can’t they at least put some paint on it, replace the railing, or try to make the sides match in height?  No, no one was ever going to fix that bridge.  It was the monument to the lives of those living on the opposite side.  Decaying, rotting at the stanchions; it surely couldn’t stand for long?  It could; it was in that shape years ago, longer than anyone could remember.  Mulberry Bridge had been standing on its last leg for decades.  A sane person wouldn’t attempt to drive across it.  The boards that ran the length, two strips just for tire guides, looked like they were not even nailed down.  Some bent upwards, making it impossible to drive quickly.

The wood of the bridge was so old that it powdered on the running boards.  The pillar legs looked fossilized.  Debris was stuck in the stanchions; left from some rain that caused the water to rise that high.  The river below, slowly creeping, didn’t have a history of fishing quality.  Alligator gar infested the waters, along with some small brim.  The banks were steep with broken portions of sandstone extending out; shelves for the turtles and snakes; cluttered brush and debris with random trash.

The bridge up the river, made by a single man, was newly erected.  The bridges were not close together; you couldn’t see one from the other.  They were only close enough to each other to know of the others existence.  The concrete bridge was wide, built solid and superbly tested.  It was engineered for longevity.  Trials on many types of bridges had been conducted by military engineers for centuries.  Their knowledge and applied science went into the construction of this testament to the will of man.  This bridge wasn’t going anywhere.

There would be no legacy of Mulberry Bridge.  Though it stood through many trials and tribulations, its boards absorbing all of the trauma and history around it; the days were numbered from the start.  It only took one spark.  One loss and the whole bridge went up in flames.  It burned for hours, until nothing was left; only scorched earth on each embankment.  The man that made the concrete bridge, once being part of the troubled family passed Mulberry Bridge, burned the decrepit bridge, locking the fools in.  They were now on their own, alone.  What goes around, surely comes back around.  This time, Mulberry Bridge will never be rebuilt; the concrete bridge will forget that there was ever another option to cross.  The eye sore will not be missed by those that passed by on their daily errands.  It will be forgotten, lost to time like so many things before it.

The bridges are only a connection, from one thing to another.  We put them in place to make things convenient, to travel; but roads go both ways.  When no one travels a certain direction, there no longer needs to be a bridge; there is no connection.  It takes effort and work to maintain a bridge, a connection.  If two cities are connected by a bridge, which one pays for it?  It should be both, but that isn’t the reality of the world.  It isn’t the reality of families, of parents, of friends.  Will someone will always pay more? You don’t have to.



Photo  courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28003761@n02/10527553094