The road leads through the marsh. The Parker River spins and spins its way out and back. In the summer, kids jump off the railing into the water below. It’s not far but it is a leap of faith. The river is tidal, the depth not set. The bridge is compromised and was shut down over the winter.

Some authority put a sign up on the bridge:

NO SWIMMING

NO JUMPING OFF

BRIDGE

Not a poem. Not a haiku. But the line breaks seem significant. A message to those in need. A reminder not to try. Not to take chances.

It’s not a message I want to hear. Telling me to stay as I am. Telling me to let the bridge be the bridge and that is all. Just keep moving in the direction you are moving. The water is for itself. Not for you. Write as you always have written. Take no chances. No chance.

No Jumping Off.

Stay as you are.

Stay.

Be safe.

No.

I will not jump off this bridge but I will jump off.

I say to you jump off with me. Take your chances. Swim. Bridge, bridge, and bridge your way into where you are going.

Jump off. Swim beside me.

2 Comments on “No Jumping Off

  1. Myf, Couldn’t agree more with you that taking chances is what life is all about.

    But oddly enough I just returned from a walk over that bridge.

    I make sure I do that each year around this time. Twenty-three years ago when I was working at GDA, a young man named Angel Tellevere lost his life when he and a group of friends jumped off of that bridge. Several faculty members tried desperately to save him. The current took him down quickly. He was a freshman and wanted to end his year by learning to swim with his buddies.

    This occurred a few hours before graduation…I can still hear the sirens coming in the distance in such a usually peaceful place and I can hear the silence and see the stunned looks as students and families gathered for what was to be a celebration. We clung to each other and tried comforting each other while the search for Angel’s body was carried out by the authorities.

    Angel lives on in thought every time I see that bridge. Please be careful.

    • Hi Mary, I had heard that story before. Sad. I was speaking metaphorically about jumping off. I know the bridge isn’t safe. Thanks.

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