Havard, Pauline. “The Bridge.” Canadian Poetry Magazine 10.2 (1946): 17-18.

The preface to this poem in the Canadian Poetry Magazine notes that it “was awarded the $25.00 prize in the first of a series of annual competitions established by Mrs. Maida Parlow French.” The award was the Donald Graham French Award for Poetry, named after Maida Parlow French’s poet husband.

The Bridge

He was a supple, bronze giant of a man
Who knew his lifetime’s gossamer-frail span
Could be a sturdy bridge that stretched into
A shining future; saw the span upheld
By two tall sons who watched the fir-trees felled,
House built to last a century. … The blue
Eyes like the father’s blazed with the same vision.
Yes, they, like him, had made their great decision–
To build a span for their own sons to follow.
They, too, found comfort in the dimpled hollow,
The warm soft grasses and the hill’s green cap;
The field that held the harvest in its lap,
Sunlight and rain and sweet, enriching seasons.

Thus as one man these three men strove, and won
Against the frost’s attacks, the age-old treasons
Of weevil, hail and drought. Son after son,
They held the farm, until their names were part
Of a land whose heart beat closely with their heart,
Their brown hands building, quietly but sure
A span of dreams, a bridge that would endure!

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