by Elizabeth Kerlikowske
The swamp the same: tattered cattails higher than her head, a partial beaver dam, and loose boards of the little bridge, flush with the water. No handrail. No signage. Her shoes splash with each step. Sometimes she’s held her sister’s hand here; today she’s alone. Green hairs fringe some boards; others sun-bleached gray. Behind her, whisper of water parting for the beaver pushing the last board still trembling from her foot’s release. This was never a bridge, just a flock of planks drifting together, which made crossing the swamp easier. They called it a bridge because they needed a bridge.