A Narrow Bridge
“The whole world is a narrow bridge; the important thing is not to be afraid.”
Rabbi Chaim Nachman of Bratslav (1772-1810)
Adults immerse themselves
in prayer, their heads humbly bowed
for God-powered strength
to navigate a narrow bridge
without fear of failing or falling.
Children belt out campfire songs
echoing the words of their elders,
parroting their parents brave enough
only to pray.Their prepubescent voices
crack like firespit as marshmallows
drip thickly from snapped twigs.
They are not haunted by hatred
and taunts, but untethered by youth,
where bridges are for chasing, running,
racing, and high-fiving at the finish,
where plunging into calm water is
carefree, riptides and high tides are
undaunting, and terror is for the mortal.
They are the fearless -- the young --
myopic to the day when their own hair
will gray and their own children will defy
reliance on prayer that will cloak them in safety.
For now, innocence and unspent spirit
have no time for trepidation.
There is a narrow bridge to cross.
Shelly Blankman and her husband Jon are empty-nesters, who live in Columbia, Maryland with their four rescue cats and one foster dog. They have two sons, Richard of New York and Joshua of San Antonio. Shelly's career has followed paths in public relations and journalism, but her first love has always been poetry. She also enjoys scrapbooking and cardmaking ... when she's not refereeing cats, that is.
The Ekphrastic Review
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