The pink plumeria tree still stands there.
I can see it from my patio.
More than twice its height at the time,
it grows next to a 12-foot high rock ledge.
The younger you are, the smaller the drop appears.
If you stand on that ledge, you are looking into the tree’s branches.
Our game was to leap the four feet from the ledge to one of the branches,
then pull yourself up, climb down to the ground,
run back up to the ledge top, leap to the branch again,
over and over until we were all too exhausted to continue.
Which turned out to be the time before the last time I ever made that jump.
I was too fatigued to pull myself up, my arms too tired.
I screamed so loudly when I hit the ground
that my folks came running from across the stream.
I’d broken my wrist, but not my neck, spine, or skull.
My dad thought I was an idiot. Everyone signed my cast.
Trying to do everything with my non-dominant hand was hard,
but nothing so difficult a seven-year-old couldn’t manage.