The Possible First Plunge

I climb the long ladder

quaking inwardly

fearing what hasn’t happened yet, but will

fearing the changes that must take place

the call came early this morning, three thousand miles away

my aged yet actively-living Dad paralyzed

rushed to the hospital

now I climb out onto the narrow, high, diving board

an hour later a call saying no stroke, but high fever, vicious infection

toes and soles feeling the material rubbing them, damp

my nerves very aware of the distance beneath the board

deep water below, tears of certain grief

nothing to keep me from falling to the side or back

must balance, stand tall, straight

waiting for the call to explain the infection and what it all means

standing alone on the board, having to move forward

step by unwilling step

noticing all the eyes below, upturned, watching

eyes belonging to folk who have all made the plunge and survived

will this be the time I dive in

or will it be averted


for another reprieve?


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