A Cautionary Tale for Summer

In September 2009 I was asked by then Managing Editor of Black Dog Books, Karen Tayleur, to submit a piece of prose or poetry for the anthology, Short and Scary,  which was published in April this year to raise funds for the Big Brother Big Sister Organisation.

This poem – Don’t Jump – made it into the anthology along with works by Andy Griffiths, Shaun Tan and Carole Wilkinson. (Still trying to sort out the form

With summer upon us it’s a cautionary tale for boys who dare to think that they rule.

Don’t Jump

Don’t jump! yells Greg
Echoes the signs we all ignore,
Put up by the old farts who run the town.

What a girl! We call back at him
Lifting our bodies from the bridge
And into air, pulling our knees and heads
Into our chests and
For a moment freeze…
Eyes closed.

Drop down,
Still curled hit the water.
Stings like hell then sink in black and cold.

Stretch out.  Reach up.
And  up…..And  up……..
Break through the water, breathe.
But something has my legs.
Arms reach for sun. Fingers barely pierce the surface. 

Pulled down.  Can’t see. Too dark.
Tired from kicking this thing
That’s tackling harder than a player in a rugby game.
Sight clears. Eyes focus.
Greg? Greg?

Too strong.  Give in.
Two words.
Don’t jump. 



About Robyne Young

Writer, creative writing teacher, editor, columnist. Literary lover. Short story collections, The Only Constant and The Basket and the Briefcase available via website.
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