One Poem by Dennis DuBois

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Jumper

(Humpty Dumpty By Another Name)

The way I jumped, the feet fall first.
It could have been otherwise, flailing
the air, reaching for a non-existent savior,
tumbling without grace, clumsily begging
whoever listens to guide me back
to the ledge I jumped from.

But no, it’s not like that — I was not fired or betrayed
or in mourning. Listen — my tear ducts are dry, and I’m
cool enough to make a cucumber jealous. Not helpless,
but determined. Not old and disillusioned, but young
and vibrant, not a drooping willow, but a night blooming
water lily, standing up to praise the moon. The future
is my destiny, and I aim to meet it head-on.

I practiced for this, rehearsed for this. I am as ready
as I could ever be. If there was ever any doubt, it was
weaned away from me, papered over with a conviction
that informs my refusal to turn back. Besides — down
below the ants egg me on, cursing me for delay,
screaming and shaking their fists. I know for them
I am merely amusement, a sporting event,
a distraction from their worrisome vexations.

In a few seconds I will turn my body horizontal,
spread my arms like wings to glide in flight.
Make no mistake I have never felt so alive,
all my faculties are acutely present, I feel the air
rushing past, coursing through my hair, cooling
the space between my outstretched fingers.
The descent is long, each second, a lifetime
lived and remembered.

My aim is to land in the fountain, but from way
up here, everything is vague, it looks to be a glass
of water. If I should I miss my mark I will break apart
like Humpty-Dumpty into a thousand irreparable pieces,
a bag of broken bones to mark the spot of my landing.
That is the risk, but, according to plan, it is precisely
at the moment of impact I will rise up to greet my maker,
who will meet my smiling face with open arms….


Dennis Dubois holds a Master’s Degree in social work, and has worked to help others for decades, while writing poems along the way. He has published poems in Bee Museum, Curved House, The Projectionist’s Playground, Runcible Spoon, Verse News, MessageinaBottle, and Nine Muses poetry. He is preparing a collection of poems and a first work of fiction. He is an American expatriate, living in Copenhagen.

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