Barely Hanging On

Hiking in the mountains I go, then down the river with the flow.

Resting by the bank the stars show faintly in the moonlight’s glow.

Resting till the morning, no need for a dream.

Awakened by the sound of the water picking up steam.

I race to the rapids but I’m startled by a scream.

A raft went by but it’s missing its team.

I search and I listen for the presence of anyone.

Across the river a body lays motionless under the sun.

My first thought is my rope and my flare gun.

So, back to my rucksack I start to run.

In a panic I try to stay calm.

I steady my breathing with the gun in my palm.

I sling the rope and run for the clearing,

But another scream, is that what I’m hearing?

I clear the tree line and fire my flare.

I move to the water’s edge and begin crossing with care.

I unravel my rope; it has multiple tears.

Now how can I cross without my rope, do I even dare?

The body stays motionless, its right over there.                                                                                

But I can’t help, I’m stuck in the river soaking wet from boots to hair.

There’s nothing I can do but watch as the body’s dragged off by a bear.

Hanging onto a rock in a raging river, hopefully someone spotted that flare.

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