A Temporary Parting

I recognize the boy climbing up the bank on the other side.
Turning, he calls to me, over the rush of the river,
points to where a waterfall waits, high, and deadly.

He gestures not to worry, but the current is fierce here,
and I’m no longer the swimmer I was in my childhood.

We’re on a countdown, this child and I, but I’ll wait here awhile,
on this side of the river for a time yet and think about the swim.

Finally, giving up on me, the child waves goodbye, turns, and disappears,
but I’ll see him again when I’ll have no choice but to follow.

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