by Roland King
A mediocre adventure from my youth.
|I was 23.
Was it an epic adventure? No.
But for me it was still important.
Midday during a 3-hour break between classes,
I discovered an urge to explore.
The river bordered the college,
and having crossed the Guy West Bridge,
off-campus I went.
The brush was thick and various trails,
often beat by homeless,
cut down to the river. I walked a mile or so
staying close to the river wondering what
my point was for this expedition.
Then I spied it.
In the middle of the river 100 yards away was an island.
Steep- sided and eroded.
Exposed roots sticking out of the side of the island
It would be a sheer 60-foot climb
that it would take to get on top of it.
I didn’t take time to think.
I took off my shoes, shoved them in my backpack
and waded out into the shallow rocks that led through the river.
I misjudged the difficulty and nearly fell
on the slick and slimy rocks beneath the surprisingly strong
current hidden in the shallows.
What was I doing? Living out some childhood
daydream born of reading treasure island?
I looked up with a certain amount of trepidation
at the vertical climb ahead of me. Hesitated
then forced myself to proceed before I chickened out.
Halfway up I realized how utterly alone I was and froze.
Then realized why did I undertake this if not to succeed?
And carefully climbed the rest of the way.
Atop the island there of course was no treasure.
Only copious amounts of broken beer bottles as it
Turns out I was far from the first college student to sneak to this island.
But what I did find
Written for "Promptly Poetry Challenge" week 41
Prompt: Write a poem about a physical journey you have been on.