By Brady Gill

The town had always been split by a river

But a long time ago it just seemed like a sliver

A tiny fracture between two shores

Where water flowed

But nothing more


A wandering stream

With no real direction

Turning left

And then right

With no big inflections


You could hop it

This creek

And many folks would

Seeing things from the other side

Was something that was good


Until one day there came an order

This babbling brooke

Would now be a border

One side was now East

One side was now West

And you should stay on your side

If you knew what was best


Some stayed on their side

But others would not

“To hell with the rules

Or if we get caught!”


They met at the brooke

To play and to laugh

Making games of jumping

From one side and back


Which is why

They were the first to be knowing

That the shores were moving

And the river was growing


Inch by inch and

Little by little

They were drifting away

From what was the middle


Many denied that the drifting was real

They called it a hoax and shouted with zeal


“What’s the deal?

Who cares if this little creek grows?

That’s what little creeks do.

That’s what everyone knows.

It isn’t us that causes this change

People can’t do that

You fools are insane!”


All the same

The river grew more by the day

The East and the West moving farther away

No matter the truth

It was hard to escape

What once was a river

Seemed more like a bay.


“We cannot delay!” said many afraid.

“Before it’s too late, a bridge must be made!”

“Ok!” said the people who often nay-said

“It just seems bad business to lose half our trade.”


So bridges were built

From the West to the East

Huge bridges that could fit a hundred at least

And the river’s widening suddenly ceased

The fear that they felt

Was slowly released


Though everyone knew to stay on their side

The bridges were somewhere

Where they could combine

A place where families

Caught in the split

Could meet face to face

And relax for a bit

Where friends could come

And see eye to eye

Or even if not

They let their fights lie.


For since the order something had shifted

And every day that the borders existed

The people and town grew more and more twisted

Afraid of their neighbors

They couldn’t confide

Or trust a single person

Who was from the other side


Some on the West thought the East would attack

Some on the East thought the West was all bad

The Westerners thought the East had no brains

While the Easterners thought that the West was insane

“The East!?! They're idiots and clearly are less!”

“The West!?! Elitist snobs who think that they're best!”

“The East!?! Good riddance! We’re better off alone!”

“The West!?! What whiners! They moan and they groan!”


It was only on the bridges where it became clear

That the people seem to fear

The things they are not near


Early one morning the townspeople woke

To alarms

And shouting

And fire

And smoke


They raced to the river

Where everyone learned

That late in the night

The bridges were burned


Both sides on the shores, watched in silence

Suddenly awed by the strength of their violence

And then with a sigh

And then with a shiver

The bridges collapsed

And fell in the river


The river

The border

The great divide

Started raging

And roaring

And flexing it’s tide


It gushed and rushed

And boomed with thunder

As it flooded the shores

And swept people under


And then beneath the townspeople’s feet

They felt the earth violently creak

And moan

And groan

And with one final crack

The shores started moving

There was no going back


For it seemed that the bridges were actually stitches

Holding together what was pulling apart

And without them the river

Would only grow bigger

And farther away from what was the start


As the shores raced away

And the river ballooned

Into oceans and seas

Of distance and gloom

The townspeople knew

There was one thing to do

One person to turn to

One person who

Will know what to do

And see them all through


And that person is you


You’re the one who’s been watching this play

You’re the one who has something to say


They can’t see

In the distance now

Their eyes are strained

And they don’t know how

To see things from the other side

Now that this river has grown so wide


But you can see

And you can grow

And you can change it all

If only you’ll know


This is a story

The characters caught

But you are not constrained to their plot


How do we heal this and help our wounds mend?

How do we keep this from being our end?


The town is waiting

And I am too

Tell us

What are you going to do?