Burning Bridges

You're burning the bridges, not I

A bridge is never burned from my side

And if it is, it's never completely destroyed

Because too much effort must be employed

Besides, it might seem useless now

Or like no more weight it will allow

But time has a way of making the path clear

And perhaps the lion truly has made peace with the deer

If so, the bridge is once again a welcome route

That yields by far more fruit

Than a mighty bridge once thought sound

Only to be burned to the ground


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Comments 30 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

Been there, done that, and you captured it perfectly.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa

In order to protect myself against people who make it their business to upset and hurt me, I have burnt more than one bridge.

Thought-provoking poem, Shannon!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Billy! I appreciate your thoughts and your visits.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Heck I burnt so many bridges the blame the Richmond Fire on me. But this sets me straight. Awesome work!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Martie. People making it their business to purposely hurt me are an exception to the "never" rule. But, I am no stranger to the burning bridges myself. In cases like the one I describe here, I've had people burn bridges with me. And I've had a few come back later into my life to apologize. In general, I find I am open enough to see what becomes of it. Usually nothing much because the trust and intimacy is gone and has to be earned back through genuine interactions the way any new and continuing friendship is. But I do not discount it because a friendship that was grounded in authenticity and sincerity to begin with will still have that foundation. It does happen that the bad goes away and the good remains.

On the other hand, I've found myself telling someone today that the bridges being burnt are not because I desired it to be so. I let go of the negative aspects and all that remained were genuine feelings of friendship. However, that's not enough to connect me to another person when the bridge is not complete from the other side. I'm letting go according to someone else's terms, so to speak. For me, to care is to care, to forgive, and to move forward only out of love. I cannot do that when it is not accepted, though. I make mistakes. We all make mistakes. We all learn and we all grow. Still, I will no longer include this person in my thoughts when I'm thinking of friends. And I am more disappointed by someone turning their back completely than anything else that was only a temporary moment in time.

I feel rather strongly that people tend to not only drop the baggage of a friendship but also drop the friend as well, which is a terrible shame in my opinion. How many times in life do we dismiss friends just because we can't handle the baggage in a particular moment in time and what if those friends could have offered so much more at another point in time? We throw away the dull diamonds searching for the sparkling gems when we could be re-polishing what we already have while searching for new treasure as well.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hi Eric, good to see you again! I hope it is thought-provoking. I think we should all be open to the bigger picture when we're feeling things so strongly in any given moment. After all, we all have only one way to go in life and that's forward. Better to build bridges that connect us to what really matters - that's the good in people. Because all of the disappointment, fear, and anything else negative is not what is truly important in the long run, except for maybe the lessons taught if good is gained from the lessons.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

My best friend would have burnt all possible bridges with me long ago, if she were not madly in love with me.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hahaha. She obviously loves you well, Eric! And you her, I'm sure.


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 13 months ago from New Jersey

I too have burnt many bridges and still burning. This was beautiful and to the point. I can so relate to its simplistic meaning.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia

I feel this is one of your best poems Shanmarie, and going by the comments it strikes a chord with others. Many bridges have been burnt in my life but usually not instigated by me. However where a bridge once stood often years later a bigger stronger bridge can be built. If both sides are willing to aid in the construction.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 13 months ago from New Delhi, India

Excellent poem, so effectively expressed and with such deep thoughts! Your message is so beautiful and clear.

I believe in building bridges and have never ever burnt them . But it can happen from the other end and it has happened. After all bridges have to be built from both ends.

But I believe in moving forward in life and find a way , if not through the bridge, through some other route.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Lisa. I hope you don't have too many bridges left burning.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Jodah! Coming from such a great poet, that compliment is extra special. I like your way of thinking. A new bridge indeed has so much potential to be stronger than the first one. Provided both ends are building to the middle.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hello, ChitrangadaSharan. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Yes, we must all go forward via some other routes if we must. There is no other way.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 13 months ago from Oklahoma

Wonderful poem. I think we've all burned a bridge before. Sometimes it's impossible not to.


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 13 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi, Shanmarie, You have captured the feelings we have all had at one time. We all need to go forward and keep going. Great hub,stella


always exploring profile image

always exploring 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

How very true, bridges are never completely burned. I echo Bill's statement. Been there, done that, more than once. I love your rhyming!


drbj profile image

drbj 13 months ago from south Florida

What a lotta truth, Shanmarie, you packed in those few pretty, poetic lines. As in the poem you included, 'bridges are for building, not burning.'


MsDora profile image

MsDora 13 months ago from The Caribbean

I like your positive and forgiving attitude. Thanks for sharing what I think is a unique idea concerning burning bridges. Great message!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hi Larry. Sometimes, I suppose it is necessary. Fortunately, I think that is rarely the case.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hi Stella. Thanks for reading and once again leaving your thoughtful comments. I do appreciate you. Yes, I concur completely - forward is the only way to go.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Ruby! Sometimes half the fun in writing a poem is coming up with the rhymes. Hehehe. It's like writing a song. I like trying to rhyme while still saying exactly what it is I want to say.

P.S. My daughter just looked over my shoulder as I was writing the above comment. She asked, "Whose Ruby?" I told her someone that commented on a hub I wrote so she said, "Ruby's a diamond, isn't she?"


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Hi there, drbj. I do believe with all my heart they are for building and not for burning, although a lot can be learned from the flames. But unlike when my house burned, I cannot say the important thing is no loss of people.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Aw, MsDora! Thank you so much. I do try to always be forgiving. It's important to me. It's nice to know that's appreciated. It's not always easy.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 13 months ago from Riga, Latvia

As we move on through life we often leave burning bridges behind us. Most creative poetry.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Rasma. Yes, it is an unfortunate fact that we often do.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 13 months ago from london

Burning bridges indeed! So much effort! Great poem and message.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 13 months ago from New York

Some bridges should never be burned lest we need to re-cross them! Beautifully said Shanmarie.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

Thank you, manatita. It does take a lot of effort to burn bridges - at least for me. I'm too idealistic, I guess. So it is particularly hard when I believe someone genuinely has good intentions. Not so hard when I don't feel close to someone that I believe is purposely trying to hurt me. And even when someone is worthy of burning the bridge to, it still takes too much effort to waste my time being that upset. I just choose not to cross instead. haha


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 13 months ago from Texas Author

So true, Mary! Thank you. We never know when we may appreciate someone willing to cross a bridge again that was not being used. Or when it may be necessary to cross that bridge even without a desire to do so.

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