Diver by R.A. Simpson

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Alone on the tower
I’m not confident.
The water is black
And distant.

I think of style
And raise my arms and aim,
Holding back the plunge.
It’s mostly a game

That touches terror,
Then terror goes—
I view my fingers,
My toes:

Defiance, love and revolt
Make the diver dive
And prove, through dying,
‘He’s alive,’
A voice preaches in my head…

And so I dive.

Water gulps me down,
Chilling me with its grip,
Then arms pine up and up
Like worship.

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)

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