Submitted Date 04/26/2019

Sky Diving in the River
Age 18, Haw River, Chatham County, North Carolina, 1963
(The drawing is from Da Vinci's notebooks -- a drawing of turbulence.)

-- This is one poem, in an autobiographical series of poems, I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

Dropping into the water was foolish
no - just plain stupid -
but on a dare by upperclassmen
I had hung on a metal bar
next to a partly-open
sluice gate at the Haw River
and let myself drop into pressure
that shot me a fifty yards
into the middle of the stream

not that it wasn't fun
it was sensational
surrounded by churning currents was
like being hurled into space
like free falling
like sky diving in water

for an afternoon we did this
over and over
never really thinking about
the dangers

fortunately none of us
banged against a rock
or was pulled back
toward the gate
into the turbulence

yet we did not get away
scott free
a classmate climbed a tree
in his bathing suit
only to find out later
that the vine growing around it
was poison ivy


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  • Tomas Chough 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Seems like tons of fun. I've definitely been in similar situations before. And poison and ivy is a classic, haha. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rick Doble 4 months, 2 weeks ago

      It was only many years later that I realized how dangerous it could have been -- ah the innocence of youth.

  • Kiersten Felch 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Love the twist, haha!

    • Rick Doble 4 months, 2 weeks ago

      Yeah, it took my friend quite a while to recover from the poison ivy rash.

  • Miranda Fotia 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Very funny! Reminds me of times I jumped off of a rope swing into the water without fear. I miss not being afraid of injuries.

    • Rick Doble 4 months, 2 weeks ago

      Yes, innocence really is a kind of bliss, as long as nothing happens. And, of course, then we are told how foolish we were.