When You Doubt a Friend

When you doubt a friend, it’s like

putting a flame to the handrail

of a well-worn footbridge, smooth

and trusting, and waiting for fire to appear.


Soon the handrail is useless for holding

you steady; the flame of doubt spreads.

Travel the bridge only down the middle, as doubt

grows hotter and meaner, swallowing more bridge.


Behind you, your tiny flame has grown

to devour where you once walked safely.

Remembered footsteps are consumed by your doubt.

No turning back, the bridge crumbles to ash.


Quicken your steps to safety, off the footbridge,

thoughts of days of peaceful passing there.

But you put the flame to the bridge.  Look back.

Ash and burned boards float past like old friends.



7 thoughts on “When You Doubt a Friend

  1. Great insight in this poem. It is hard, sometimes, to know whether to trust and risk being duped or to not trust and end up being dumped! I vote to trust if it’s a special friend! New ones need more time…
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  2. Easier to destroy a bridge than build one, the banks get further apart inevitably. Don’t play with matches until you are sure … then keep walking.

    This is a super piece about the power of friendships with a hint of the too-late regrets.
    Well chosen pace and words.

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