William Cullen, Jr.

The Covered Bridge

Up in the rafters
of the town's covered bridge
all the cool and hip kids
hung out literally
as farmers' trucks passed underneath us
making a last Friday night trip to the granary
while we dropped empty beer cans
like little mementoes
in with their buckwheat or soybeans
our teenage calling cards if you will.
When it was dark again
we'd let out hoots and hollers
and pop open some more beers
toasting away the best years of our lives
until one night Maggie slipped
and dropped on the hood of the sheriff’s car
when the newest deputy was driving
and panicked him such that
he drove right through the south wall
of the bridge into the river
which was in high flood at the time.
They never found Maggie
and the deputy had a permanent
disability claim:
He was dead.
The six survivors
and only eyewitnesses
ran their six separate ways
back to their homes
and now sixty years later
the same six still living
have kept the only secret
the town has never known.


William Cullen, Jr., is a veteran and works at a non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. His poetry has appeared in Camroc Press Review, Gulf Stream, Pirene's Fountain, Poppy Road Review, Red River Review, Spillway, Wild Goose Poetry Review and Word Riot.


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