Jumping the Perrine Bridge

He looks like any other gen-X-er—
jeans, logoed t-shirt, ponytail.
Casually, he walks to the center
of the throbbing bridge,
pulsating with the cast-off energy
of a steady stream of semi-trucks.
While heading to mid-bridge,
he reaches back repeatedly
with his right hand to practice
the parachute release motion.

Standing alone in the center
of the one-mile span
over the Snake River Canyon,
the jumper pauses to watch
a sparrow hawk circling and gliding
next to the sheer rock wall;
he sees the gray-green water
480 feet below and the U.S. flag
planted by a fellow jumper
on the grassy landing pad next to the river.

Then, he simply steps over
the fence and into a freefall.
Almost immediately, he reaches back
in his practiced action
and pulls the parachute cord.
Whoosh! Snap!
the jumper floats deliriously–
in love with the universe,
and lands next to Artemisia tridentata
(the fancy name for sagebrush).


About Judy Grigg Hansen
I write poetry and nonfiction, and I am passionate about the people, places, and wildflowers of Idaho and the Northwest.

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