10-Line Tuesday

July 26, 2011

the leap
From the summer-still surface of the swimming hole, the rocks above the far end
seemed not so high, and the teenagers circling the ledge, close enough
to eavesdrop. The girls circumambulated like peacocks and the boys, emboldened
as they inched forward by the dare of a flip, their frames lean and a hint of scruff
at their jaws. It didn’t look hard, really, so I paddled to the dock and walked the short trail
that led to a plateau of boulders. By then, of course, I had imagined the entire leap,
swift and seamless into the water. But at the summit a different view awaited, the real
one, the distance nearly catastrophic. I didn’t know if I had it in me, the drop so steep,
all that air to slice through before entry, and then what? I felt myself stall, ripping
in indecision. But the body always knows what’s best, and my feet were already slipping.