poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – a narrow bridge

with 2 comments

On our drive last weekend, we visited three covered bridges.

Usually our visits last at least an hour. At each bridge, we:

  • get a good look at the abutments beneath the bridge
  • watch and listen for birds
  • identify the trees near the bridge and any wild plants in the vicinity
  • photograph the covered bridge and any interesting architectural elements
  • take notes about the state of the bridge, any new construction and the condition and covering of the roof
  • look for animal tracks, holes made by woodpeckers, birds nests, spider webs and feathers
  • record any notations in the bridge – carvings, chalk, felt marker, pencil, pen and paint
  • make a list of the sounds I hear and try to absorb the ‘feeling’ each bridge evokes.


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Florenceville Bridge, New Brunswick


I knew ahead of time, the Florenceville Bridge across the St. John River would be a different experience. Walking the bridge would be unlikely – there is no pedestrian walkway, the traffic is quite heavy and the bridge is narrow.  I did cross the bridge in our truck, a harrowing adventure since the bridge traffic is two-way. Cars slow down when they meet, but the locals are seasoned to the width and scary-brave.



a red truck and a white truck meet and pass on the narrow bridge


Only one span of the Florenceville Bridge is covered (built in 1907) and this is very well maintained. The other four spans are steel trusses. The pigeons perching on the roof of the bridge are its most obvious wild life.


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keeping watch

(Florenceville Bridge)


fifteen pigeons swim through air

fill gaps on the ridge line


perch on the shingled roof

scrutinize the traffic

the squeeze of half-tons

on the bridge

the kiss of mirrors


pigeons quit the ridge, glide

to the shingled shore


river winds shiver

hawkweed and sumac, displace

blankets of wild cucumber, billow

the skirts and Tilley

hats of tourists


2015 125_crop


Copyright 2015 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

September 11, 2015 at 7:58 am

2 Responses

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  1. What a unique covered bridge! I’ve never previously seen one that is a combination covered bridge/steel beam bridge. I’m just now getting caught up on your posts. The covered bridge documentation and poem project sounds like a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person


    September 11, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    • Hi Sheryl. Thanks. We have had a few bridges that combined covered and steel truss types. I like your old fashioned recipes. History is so compelling. Jane


      jane tims

      September 11, 2015 at 7:57 pm

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