Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Bridge

It's been a month since I wrote my last poem, but I have had a great deal going on in the past month. I wrote the following poem yesterday, after starting it last week in a creative spark. This past month has been a new experience for me, much unlike my past three other summers of college. At some point in time I had either family or friends within close access. I was somewhere where I was accustom to and knew relatively well.

Austin has not been that way. I've gotten lost amid all the new-found freedom and new experiences that that this summer internship has provided. It also has exhausted me at times, but I am still ever thankful for it.

Slowly I am realizing it isn't as strange and out-of-the-ordinary as I originally thought. I am finding friends in the area in the most unexpected of places. It is through friends that you can become grounded. It is no mistake that we humans are social creatures, more apt to communicating to one another than to shun human contact. So it was a definite blessing to have found Craig on Sunday at Mass. There are reasons for all things. There are reasons even if we don't understand them at the start, but they are valid reasons nevertheless.

And so starts the third week of this grand adventure, one I am thankful for, but still I do not know where this will lead. It is unlikely I will know for certain where it will lead at the end of the summer, since there are so many wildcards in my life, but I am ready to test the waters and cross the bridge when I get there.

The Bridge

Dark clouds brood ominously overhead,
Their menacing presence awakens me to the danger ahead.
Raindrops fall at a driving pace,
Saturating the river bank without relief.

I look to the hilltops on either side;
Huge channels of water close in on me.
Their currents are strong and paths wide.
Fear of the surrounding deluge consumes me completely.

Quietly my mind begins to race:
How did I fall from His state of Grace?
What did I do to come to this selfishness?
Surely there is light to counteract against this darkness.

Before me is a narrow bridge spanning the swollen river.
Its wooden planks look oh so rickety;
Its lattice railings are overrun with water running mightily,
But the bridge throughout this onslaught does not waver.

My mind tells me this is a bridge
That I cannot and should not try to cross.
My heart calls to me as I approach the water’s edge,
Telling me this is a bridge I must cross or all would be lost.

I tell myself that I’ve fallen before,
And surely this time, too,
I will fall once more
Into the deadly river below—a tomb.

My heart cannot deny that I could fall again,
But I cannot within myself grow
Without first rising and trying again,
Thus my pride would then be made low.

So I set my right foot on the first plank,
Starting my journey over the troubled river below.
Then, in the distance, I saw a wall of water begin to grow;
I began to waver in my faith as my heart quickly sank.

Fear overcame me again
As the wave came crashing in.
I gripped the railings with all my might
As the water rushed over me, taking from me my sight.

I started to quickly choke
As my lungs took in more water with each breath,
And my soul cried out for mercy if any was left.
With my spirit beside itself, its will broke.

Throughout the surge my hands stayed gripped
With my arms outstretched in gut-wrenching pain.
As the waters overcame me, I felt the sharp pain
Of two of the railings’ nails as through my hands they ripped.

Even through this anguish so great,
I did not release my tortured hands,
For my faith refused to abate.
I released control of my will into His Hands.

The waters began to subside,
And once I breathed my next breath
I let out a mighty cry.
It was not of anguish, sadness or pain.

It was a cry of joy in the Lord,
For I had finally crossed the Bridge,
And I had done so with the Lord,
Trusting in Him through His Passion and His Pain.

For if we are to live in Him,
We must die in Him,
And if we are to come to Glory,
We must rise in His glory.

He is there at all our bridges over troubled water,
And with Faith in Him we surely will never falter.

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