boys will be boys

08/17/2009

monolithic towers of an age now past
never showing atrophy of strength
train trestles no longer connected now naked
they beckon to us troglodytes traveling on foot
telling us of adventures of yore
revived by forging on across to their shore
graffiti dressing tells of others who have gone before
if you have the fortitude of constitution to cross
the thrill of base humanity will burn inside
a sanguineous exhilaration takes over
the quiet Delaware expanse flows hard
wading hip deep, lean into the current
unsteady footing threatens to give way
to wash you to another state sans gear
a quick glimpse around, peers now swim
pointing diagonally upstream you dive in
being pushed by the current while you stroke
all the others make landfall at different points
some stayed back  to capture moments on film
across, a scramble climb begins between breaths
loose ground gives way and trees catch falls
offering extended helping limbs come roots or branches
once at the top a new thought, a pang of fear
no one had the forethought to check the depth
one says to jump there, to clear the rocks
many stories above the smooth reflective plane
adrenaline turns fight to flight as questions are raised
arguments of courage and virility arise
intelligence weighed against manhood
you look across at impatient photogs yelling
the murmur of the river quiets their shouts
offering no solace from the yelps around you
then, one of your mates gives the sign
impatience and facing the challenge to win over fear
his feet leave the safety of the cement and stone
arms waving, feet wobbling spread wide
until the final second before impact
like a navy seal, he forms a human line
gasps all around
everyone questioning the veracity of their senses
a second turns into an hour before he resurfaces
you replay what you just saw in your head
a new splash and victorious screams echo
the huddled crowds on both sides of the river erupt
it is possible to survive the death defying leap
one by one, others are fueled by his selflessness
each gathering his own innards and clearing his head
to make the jump off of the old buttress’ face
as each a life put needlessly in peril
to feed the addictive wont for the rush of natural drugs
and the valiant crossing with the taste of victory

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5 Responses to “boys will be boys”

  1. wally426 said

    Wow. You summed that up quite well. If we survived that swim across the Delware, why not tempt fate again moments later? We should have played the lotto that day too… Great piece, better memories, what I wound’t do to go back sometimes…

    • Vic said

      You’re sick and I followed you. I don’t think I have the cajones to do that today.
      I can hear Dean-o now:
      “Young and foolish… why is it wrong to be, young and foolish?”

  2. kacoldwell said

    Good poem. Usually I get ticked when writers purposefully neglect punctuation like commas and full stops, but you make this flow quite nicely. The line breaking is impeccable.

    My only qualms are that some lines, like the very last and a few near the end are extremely abstract (e.g., “arguments of courage and virility arise”); my personal rule of thumb is never go more than one line at a given time without evoking some sort of image.

    Also, I like that it is second person, but I didn’t know that until halfway through. I think the first mention of people being, “they beckon to us troglodytes traveling on foot,” threw my off. I’d suggest sticking a “you” somewhere near the beginning just to clarify perspectives.

    Of course I’m just being nit-picky; this is a wonderful piece; it was very engaging for the reader and has great imagery. Thanks.

    • Vic said

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you getting that involved with the piece and do like your criticisms. I have been a 1 write guy so far, but will probably revisit things later.

      Thanks for the praise, Kyle.

      • kacoldwell said

        Wow, Vic, if this is a one write, then that makes it even more amazing. I don’t step polishing and editing mine until right before I click “post”.

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