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Jessie on the Drawbridge

   Jessie stood on the rusty edge of the old drawbridge over the river. He bit at his lip
and gripped the supports until his knuckles turned white. Not a single one of us would 
have blamed him for backing out. He knew as much, but he was the only one who 
hadn't jumped. Heck, I was scared for him. He wasn't the best swimmer and had no
business being up there to begin with. I believe we had all just about decided he  wasn't going to do it ... and then he was gone. I remember leaning over the edge and watching
him fall. His arms helicoptered and his feet ran through thin air, like he was trying to
climb back up. He landed awkward in the muddy water, leaning too far forward. He 
surfaced for a moment before the current sucked him back down. That was the last
time I ever saw Jessie, and they never did find his body.

   The old drawbridge was torn down 9 years later, and I was there to see it. I stood
on the bank and watched the cranes lift the steel supports from the pilings, trying to
remember which one Jessie had gripped so tightly. 

   Sometimes we don't make it across the bridge, and the current takes us somewhere
we never planned on going. But I reckon as long as the river keeps on running, we'll
keep right on jumping in ... as though our youth is enough.


Jessie Cumberland
1981--1996

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  1. Date: 4/16/2014 4:10:00 PM

    oh my gosh, this is SO sad. I really feel for this poor guy. Even though I love swimming and floating in water, I am deathly afraid of jumping from high places. I would not have done it!! that poor guy! (so good to see you back. I just love your way with stories)
  1. Date: 4/16/2014 9:01:00 AM

    I love this!! It is adventure , fear and sadness and memories all in one. Caleb I love your poems.
  1. Date: 4/15/2014 1:58:00 PM

    adventure is the key to a charmed life, caleb.. good to see you again with this inspiring, powerful write.. spill ink!.. huggs
  1. Date: 4/15/2014 12:34:00 PM

    I got all choked up reading this, it speaks volumes about youth, taking chances, and old carriage in need of mending, you're writes are always soul empowered Caleb, and it is always such an honor when you stop by, have a great day, the forestry is scented today, and Robin Hood is scouting for the leprechaun, cause only he knows where the gold is stashed lol play safe xxx
  1. Date: 4/5/2014 8:04:00 PM

    where have you gone???? come back! :)
  1. Date: 3/29/2014 3:00:00 AM

    I read this the other day, wasn't able to leave a comment, I read it again today, tears still mist my eyes. Shucks. This must have been such a heavy & sad time for all of you, I can only imagine how hard this was. We do try to keep them alive in our memories. Sometimes, we have to hold on to how they lived, instead of counting their age. A bit unrelated,1st time I read this, the music that was playing was a cover of Metric's Breathing Underwater. This truly is a touching tribute for Jessie....
  1. Date: 3/28/2014 6:30:00 AM

    Ow gee this really hit me hard...I bet this is a true experience..at least the goosebumps I have all over me makes me feel its a true story.The feeling transmitted is so sad..I just wish for you to tell me that its just a well crafted poem.Going to my favs.
  1. Date: 3/27/2014 8:25:00 AM

    Wow lil bro....these moments are unexplainable in this lifetime...but we each take them and choose how they help mold our life..all the good and bad until we die..I imagine Jessie was thinking the same thing you did when you jumped ..exhileration...of living life to the fullest..hugs...sis
  1. Date: 3/25/2014 3:04:00 PM

    I don't know what to write....so sad. Well written.. Perhaps these words were running in his head..."Cowards die a thousand deaths but the brave die only once."
  1. Date: 3/25/2014 1:00:00 PM

    So sad, but you wrote it well. Your last line speaks volumes! Great write, Caleb! Love, Kim
  1. Date: 3/25/2014 11:18:00 AM

    Well written, concise, to the point and no wasted words. The descriptive wording was very good. John

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