Poet’s Corner: “Out of the Blue” – Susan Moorhead

 Out of the Blue

He was afraid of bridges. He wasn’t and then suddenly, he was.
I couldn’t understand it. My fears are life long, born young and
bred deep. I know them like I know my oldest friends. How
could a person just become afraid of a thing that didn’t bother
him before? I would think this as we pulled to the side of the
road to switch seats so that I could do the stint over whatever
bridge needing crossing. He had always hated heights, maybe
this was just a variation on a theme. I didn’t mind, what I hated

was his stoic insistence on trying to cross over anyway, when
his giving in to fear turned into anger at himself that hovered
over the rest of the road trip like a sulky cloud. He was fiercely
afraid and then, months later, the terror subsided into that dull ache
of a lifelong hindrance. He took measured breaths and drove
over bridges, fighting his own inclinations all the way. I thought
it a shame, missing out on bridges. The rising arches
like unfolding wings, the tangible symbolism of crossing over,

just the very here to thereness of them. On a Vermont vacation,
I left him and our son bank side while I explored an abandoned
train trestle, all broken, rotted boards and deliriously beautiful
rusted metal work. I went farther than I meant to go, looking
with my camera’s eye rather than common sense. Suddenly
I was stuck, unsure of how to move, the gaps of board boasting
of the drop below. “Here,” my husband’s voice surprised me.
He stood on a metal railing just inches away. “Take my hand.”
We worked our way back to certain ground where our son stood
shaking his head at two fools on a bridge going there to here.