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
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.