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Maple Canyon Poets June 18, 2013

Filed under: Environmental Education,Gratitude — explorergarden @ 5:31 am

For the last three months, I’ve been taking ten middle schoolers for a Hike and Write elective at the school in which I have been a long-term substitute teacher. We discovered the Maple Canyon footbridge, and then found trails down into the canyon, where we hike a little and write a bit to prompts I toss out.IMG_0005IMG_0002

One day, as we sat writing on the bridge, we saw an older women enter the bridge from one end. She was small and bent, and walked into the cloudy morning with a slightly shaky step. Then we saw another women step to the other end of the bridge, and stand still. When the other woman reached the end of the bridge, the two greeted each other with smiles, and then walked away together. It was a lovely little moment.

We talked about bridges as physical objects helping people reach each other, and as metaphors for the ways we make connections in the world. In the end, students wrote poems about bridges, and created poetry boxes to share their poetry with people crossing the bridge.IMG_0007IMG_0006

Here is my bridge poem.


Building Bridges

Words are a bridge

between you and me,

my age, like strong posts reaching down

deep into the canyon,

anchored  strong,

Your youth is the span,

risking a reach across

the chasm of time,

going to a time I will not follow.

Our words are a bridge

Reaching from my heart

to yours, your dreams  to mine,

your hopes, young loves,

Despair, the bridge

like a jumping off point to end sadness.

For me, in the middle of the long span

of life, I see your future,

limitless, paths tracing

the ground up and down,

around curves we cannot see beyond,

always aiming toward beauty,

your young lives a wonder,

Our words, a bridge.


Susan A. Olcott

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