How I Knew It Wasn’t Me

By FINUALA DOWLING

I only realised I was at risk
when my brother phoned to check if I was still alive—

he’d heard it on the radio:
a woman fitting my description apparently wept
on the harbour wall before she dived.

“So it wasn’t you?”
a query rising in his tone.

I, too—as I replied—couldn’t help sounding
unconvinced,
as if searching for stronger proof.

After verbally confirming my existence,
I walked to the bay window and considered
the breakwater, the beacon
the beckoning sea
and the woman who jumped in my place.

 

 

Finuala Dowling‘s poetry collections include I Flying, winner of the Ingrid Jonker Prize; Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, joint winner of the Sanlam Prize and Notes from the Dementia Ward, winnter of the Olive Schreiner Prize.

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How I Knew It Wasn’t Me

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