Jump the River

watching kids play
Jump the River, which
is a game with two ropes

the kids line up, then
run at the “river”
& jump across it

each time the river
gets wider, until the kids
are barely able to make it

some run their hardest then
stop abruptly at its edge
some throw their bodies &

roll for extra distance
some just cry –
too hard, no fair

later they will wade in
the creek. its banks
move apart like ropes

the water flow lessens
some of it abruptly stops
it gets warmer

the sunlight reaches lower &
blooms the algae
the tadpoles feel the urgency

the tepid water tells them
hurry up, get eaten
or get caught & held

their instenstines still in
a perfect spiral
our eyes take time to adjust

to decide if we are heading
towards, or away
either way we fall into it

hypnotized, regressed
will we get word?
will it be fire? monsoon?

will we throw our bodies?
or stop
at its edge?

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