Sugar Creek Covered Bridge

Hovering green angel wings fan
Sugar Creek covered bridge
as it stands hot, red in the sky.
Feathers peek from behind a pylon-
Kickapoo Chief’s weeping eyes
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge, Roland Folse
meet mine, he disappears in time,
I pass through a hexagonal door.

Inside, ear presses sugar maple
wall: livestock’s snort/moo,
horses’ clipity-clop,
storytelling by weary settlers,   
dogs barking at heels and hooves.
Squeaks of buggy wheels wearing ruts
into wood plank floor.
Squeals of children peering through
spaces between, daring brown
Sugar Creek to rise and tickle their toes
- and mine.

Comes a dark silhouette:
astride galloping stallion, Parson,
flat wide-brimmed hat pulled over
ears, jacket tails flapping in wind. Late
for churchy or dinner.
“Dodge or be trampled!”

Hard I rub my hands over rough-hewn
architecture/artistry - arches, trusses;
wood beams with lovers initials carved
like jagged lace by pocket knife.
A .L. plus M. T. Could it be?
Gladly shall I wear
sweet blood-splinters of 1880
in my soft 2010 palms.

Jean Staff