They'd held hands along the way;
him entreating her to continue.
It wasn't easy not to look back, or down.
The trellis crossed a racing dull gray river.
In such water, surely, one would be swept away
and never heard from again. She kept thinking,
"Surely...we will see better days."
"We are in a land like Mars," she thought.
"A strange, foreign land. And this isn't me...
this isn't me."
It would be years later that she would look
back with any clarity on the events that had
brought them here.
"This present pain is more than I can bear;"
she would think...and then in the next breath
she would chide herself for indulging in despair;
for swimming in her hopelessness and her self-pity
as if it were a river.
"Things will look clearer in the morning, Babe.
Just take one more step."
The bridge trembled underfoot, but held.
She almost leapt off the last plank,
her relief palpable to be, at last, on solid ground.