Glass Poetry Press

Volume Five Issue Two

Anne Britting Oleson

Where We Leapt From

Old hempen rope splintered your sweaty grip as you hurtled toward the cliff edge. Fifteen feet above the Cousins River, fifteen feet out: once your feet surrendered the muddy ground you were committed to your foolish choice. Fluttering leaves gave way to the glare off the water, swinging out toward Archie's boatyard on the Yarmouth side, then up into the impossible blue of sky. Quick intake of breath, eyes clamped shut — release — and then wingless soaring for that longest of fractions of a second: the possibilities of flight stretched out as long as you kept your eyes shut, throwing your arms and legs wide and shouting at the ecstasy of it before the plunge into salt water filled your mouth and nose and your wings became a frenzied tangle of limbs clawing toward the surface, where you broke out, gasping, coughing, eyes and nose streaming, too shocked to do anything but tread water while the current pulled you inexorably toward the sea.