The Tree by the Covered Bridge


The stately oak stands solemn and quiet
Alongside the bucolic covered bridge
Its branches hanging downward as if tired
Leaves falling slowly into the current
Of the rain-swollen Watauga River

The shadow of the tree clinging starkly
Onto the weathered century-old planks
Speaking of a time not so far removed
When bridge and tree were the gathering place
For a day's respite from a hard week's toil

Farmers, merchants, wives and children gathered
With picnic baskets filled with fried chicken
The women chatting in their new bonnets
The children wearing last year's Sunday best
While the men make bets like Roman soldiers

The low mound where the tree's roots are anchored
Bare earth beneath the lowest hanging limb
A crude stool of newly cut pine upright
While waiting for the next unwilling guest
Courthouse clock chimes the hour of Golgotha

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This Poems Story

Rick R. Richardson is a father, a professional archaeologist, a voracious reader, a lover of dogs, books, nature, poetry and prose. Rick is a native Tennessean having spent his early years surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, and currently lives in a small fishing village on the coast of North Carolina. Rick's works range from darkness to light, stark to beauty, ocean to mountain, humor to pain, and capture love and nature in their finer moments. In "The Tree by the Covered Bridge," Rick shares a real time and place anchored in his roots.