Fight or Flight

My knees tremble, knuckles whiten, 

Hands grip the side rail as the waves lift

the boat higher and lower, higher

and lower.

A queue forms, a small shout “Jump!”

It isn’t far, it isn’t too cold,

Take the plunge.

My knees tremble, knuckles whiten,

Bent legs steady themselves as with every breath

my chest rises and sinks, rises

and sinks.

The water’s clear, sparkling and inviting,

It’s OK you can see the bottom,

Take the plunge.

My knees tremble, knuckles whiten,

Toes curl further into the deck as my mind races

braving a countdown and faltering, counting

and stopping.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,

A rare chance, so embrace the fear.

Take the plunge.

A three second countdown, a leap

of faith, fear and a few metres.

Noise fills my ears, water shoots up my nose.

White knuckled hands fail, flail and finally

push against the current.

Panicked knees kick and kick harder.

I’m here, coughing and spluttering,

spitting and dripping:

I’m treading water.

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