The Plunge

— Lesa Medley

I had been on the sidelines,
back there,
against the wall
just watching…
for far too long.

One day,
I had had enough
just watching.
I gathered up
unknown courage
and strength
from some hidden place
deep inside me,
and I just did it.

Not shyly and gingerly
easing my way,
not sticking
my big toe in first
to test.
I took a running leap
and jumped right in
head first…
into the deep end,
my whole self.

I surfaced,
and as I was climbing
up the ladder,
my whole self smiled.

And then I wondered…
why I had waited so long.


Rude Awakening

—Pushpa MacFarlane

I wake up to the sound
of cell phone chimes,
running water spiraling down
the kitchen sink, spoons
clattering against the cutlery drawer,
the persistent beep-beeping of the microwave,
sounds of stainless steel against ceramic—
of stirring coffee in circular motion—
the smell of warm toast. It’s not early
morning—but somewhere around eight.

I’ve missed once again, being woken
by tweets of birds chirping
outside the bay window,
quiet murmurings of morning breeze
against the creaking Bougainvillea,
a gently heaving hand against my chest,
hushed sounds of snuggling toes,
two warm bodies interlocked,
only a breath or so apart— the welcome
humdrum of contented wakefulness.

This is how I would like to wake up.
This is how I have pictured it
in my mind all these years.