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On the Blue

by Seth Benton


Standing atop the high dive

the boy does not notice

the brilliant cumulus or the airplane

moving slow across the sky.

Arms outstretched to steady himself

he feels a thrill at this height,

a danger in the bounce from his weight on the board.

He has no doubt that he will dive. The pull

is too strong. Late August, the park is not crowded,

just the usual families settled to their places around the pool.

The boy ignores their voices blending with a familiar

song from the lifeguard radio.

Rushing to the deep end this morning

he neglected to rescue the frogs

and crickets trapped in the baby pool.

A field beyond the cut grass boundary

holds the green corduroy of milkweed pods

stuffed to bursting with seeds.

The boy will gather them later, touching the sap

that bleeds poison from the break.

He inches his way to the very edge of the board.

He can almost feel his forehead smack

the surface, the relief in submerging

then rising through water. The cumulus

above him floats on the blue.

Released, he dives toward it.