A six-person river raft bobbing up and down in the frigid Animus River. A paddle stretched out too far. One rapid, knocking me overboard.
beyond white foam so many spruces
Break the surface. Still holding the safety line circling the raft. My face, slapped by the river. Again. Again. Back under. Bubbles from my last breath. Jagged rocks scrape my back. One clear thought: I could die here.
river’s roar any moment the call to let go
Hands press my shoulders down. I ricochet above the rapids. Those same hands — my friend and raft partner — pull me aboard.
more paddling last rapids left behind
more by FRANK J. TASSONE
Photograph by Andrew Spencer