‘Outstretched Fingers’ – A poem for Inspiration Monday

Another poem! Prompted by this week’s writing prompts from ‘Inspiration Monday’. The prompt is ‘Outstretched Fingers’

Outstretched Fingers

What am I doing here?
Lying on this thin, creaking,
shifting piece of ice.
I saw them
playing on the frozen lake, 
larking around ,
daring one another, 
seeing who would go out the furthest.
I was going to walk by,
their stupidity was 

not my problem.
Then the inevitable.
A deafening crash as 

the ice broke
and suddenly one of them was gone.
Without thinking I rushed on to the ice.
I’m now lying very still,
close to the jagged hole.

He’s there, the young boy,
clinging frantically to the edge.
His eyes are pleading with me
begging me to pull him out.
My outstretched arms won’t quite reach.
I can feel this thin ice
splintering beneath my shivering body.
I’ve just time to slide back,
back to the safety of the shore.
If I stay and pull him out
it won’t take our combined weights.
I look once more at  his pleading eyes,
his outstretched fingers.
Then I close my eyes
as I move slowly backwards
away from the hole.



  1. chesshirecat

    Mike, it’s funny. I also wrote a poem using “Outstretched Fingers”! I wasn’t sure if I could use a poem or not, so I started to write a story around the poem! I feel better now I’ve seen your work in poetic form!
    Your poem is very heady. It’s so truthful and painful. Good work! This piece is so hard to read without finding yourself wondering what judgements the would be rescuer will suffer later from his own mind? Whew, I hope I never have to make a call like this. I’m not sure I could deal with how my mind would suffer from the pain. Often, the will of self preservation is stronger than any other thought or action. It’s how things are.


    1. Mike

      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you liked this piece.
      As you say self preservation is a powerful thing but then the mind will keep asking you if you did the right thing or not. We don’t need other people to make comments we are capable of making themselves to us, often with more tenacity and emotion.


  2. Kay Camden

    I am deeply bothered. I have a soft spot for reckless little boys as I have two of them. I think I would have run for a rope! The image of this is going to stick with me. In poem form, it’s so much more poignant than if it was a story. Well done.


I look forward to reading your comments

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