Down By The Brook

The brook was our boundary marker,

it belonged to my sister and I,

and only us,

because it was only us

that weren’t allowed across.

 

Grown ups could pass.

They could come and go as they please.

With their dogs and their bikes

and their children of their own,

who raced across our boundary

like it didn’t exist.

 

It did exist.

 

On maps it marked a divide,

the line between Ash and Higher Heath.

But even our address forgot that.

 

And the bridge.

It didn’t look like a bridge,

all concreted in with the road.

Squat, fat and grey,

with weeds and grass on top!

 

It was a very unbridgey bridge.

 

But it was my bridge.

My secret, hidden bridge

across my very own moat

that kept out the monsters

lurking in the woods.

 

The first time I crossed

I managed three or four steps.

Then the knots in my stomach got too tight

and the sky seemed too grey

and the day too cold.

 

It wasn’t far,

just far enough that the house disappeared,

hidden by a bend and the trees

and I realised that no one would see me

if the monsters came out of the shadows.

 

For the first time I felt alone

 

 

 

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Written for the Daily Prompt: Crossing

Feedback on this piece would be greatly appreciated. I’m not sure what I think of the ending. I reworked it so much that by the time I landed on this one I was just happy that it didn’t suck as badly as the others.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. I really liked the end ‘that was when I fist felt alone’. It crowned the piece, because I had already had a sense of isolation from the description of being behind the boundary. Once I got to the end, I realised your sister was still company so there was some solidarity. Then, once you tested the boundaries yourself you encountered loneliness. This really resonates as I watch my children in the teen years – how in testing and creating their own boundaries they may look like they are in a ‘peer group’ but in fact they are on a solitary journey that maybe all hearts make as we grow. Tenderness.

  2. It is put so beautifully. I absolutely adore the unique idea of writing on a bridge crossing and in the form you put it. In my opinion, the ending is just fine. Keeps the reader’s imagination running though.

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