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The Bridge


Harry Buschman

Rose Clair paused before crossing the footbridge. It was strange to see her dressed as a young woman. She was, after all eighty four, yet she was wearing straw sandals and a flowered summer dress. A wide brimmed white straw hat was tied under her chin.

It was Friday, and the first full moon in the month of June. He left on a Friday, back in 1943, and the moon was just as full that night as it is now. She wore the same flowered dress - he was in uniform. They worked all through the week getting the vegetable garden ready for summer, and he told her it would be over soon and he would be home to share it with her in the fall.

Rose Clair walked to the center of the bridge and stared out at the setting moon. She counted up the years and the thousands of moons that rose and set between that night and this one. She looked into the dark water and saw herself looking down at herself -- an old woman now. “Too old,” she thought. “Who would come home to an old woman like Rose Clair?” She cursed the passage of time and the sadness of loving a young man of twenty-three -- a man who would always be twenty-three.

She walked into the summer house that looked out over the lake. In the darkness, she ran her fingers over their carved initials in the wooden bench. She waited, and before long she felt his presence next to her. It was as strong as ever it had been.

“There’s something about love,” she thought. “It is a bridge that never grows old.”

Harry Buschman

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