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  • On the obstacle course,
    we crossed a log bridge.
    A long pole hung from chains
    set above a muddy swale.

    Look, they said.
    Leaches!
    See!
    I peered at the creature on the end of his finger.
    Naw, it just a baby worm, I said.
    They knew me well enough to be sceptical.
    Doubt raised the stakes.
    Doubt raised the bar.

    Bare feet gripped
    the shifting pole
    worn and slickly smooth.
    Frayed ropes hung down.
    Some clung to a single strand.
    Some were caught,
    arms outstretched,
    hanging between here and there

    I rocked the pole.
    Grinned.
    You got to let go
    to go on boys,
    I said.
    And we laughed.
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