Long-time listener, first-time reader…

When I was at boarding school, we would find ways to keep ourselves amused and get in a good adrenaline rush, one of those ways was sneaking down the hill to the river behind the local breakfast place. We would have to wade/swim across the river depending on how high it was and then climb up to one of two jumping levels. We kept our shoes on. It was shallow most of the time, so you had to land in one spot feet first. The first two days my friends decided to do this, I waded across, climbed up, and watched. Everyone urged me to jump, but I declined. By day three, I decided it was safe as no one had gotten hurt.

I jumped.

“GAHHHHHHHH!”

SPLASH!

Cheers eluded from my friends, and I decided to go again.

Reading poetry in front of an audience seemed more daunting than jumping off a cliff into the water. It took me nearly five years of occasional attendance before I finally gave in to urging the encouraging audience of former poet laureate, current and retired school teachers, and miscreant musicians and poets. 

Last month, I read my first poem aloud at the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program Poetry Hoot at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, NH.

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Photo Credit: Tammi Truax

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