House of Words 3 boys flying wooden menu frame

The Nothing Dive

I announced:
I'm about to do the nothing dive.
My cousins had doubts.

We'd been swimming in the lake
till our trunks were swum thin,
till our finger tips were little prunes.

Let's see this nothing dive.

With my heels on the edge of the pier,
I doubled over like a folded rag doll,
limp arms and head
dangling down.

You wait
until your last muscle
forgets what it's doing ...

you wait     you wait     and

you fall.
Hit the water. Snap around.
A nauseous swoosh erases what you knew.

Just before you come back
you feel the arms of the world,
and the sweet touch of everything in it.

I climbed the ladder, teetering.
High as a kite.
They studied my face.
They got down to business.

They repeatedly:
fell, climbed back, looked cheated.

They tried and tried to do The Nothing,
but all they could manage was ...

Nothing Dive! It's nothing all right!

As I watched them march off the pier
into known futures,
I glimpsed my own future
of enterprise and solitude.

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