Jan/Feb 2009 Poetry

Diving in a Shark's Cage

by Bob Bradshaw

Artwork by Robert Hoover

Diving in a Shark's Cage

"We'll get some great film," Gary promised.
"The water will be as clear as gin."

A month later we were on a boat,
the captain laying down a chum line
of blood and crushed sardines.

Gary was ecstatic, the first
to spot the dorsal fins.

The cage lowered. I was coaxed
into it. If I had been dropped off by a cab
in a dangerous neighborhood
would I have felt safer?

The Great White slammed into my cage,
a truck running a red light,
blindsiding me. Shaken, I watched
as my cage was winched up.

I flew home that night.
I needed to sleep in my bed.
To put distance between me and that shark.

Years later, when jolted awake
in the middle of the night
I would swear that my bed

was bumped.


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