Poetry  April 2017 | issue 496

The Diver

by Lynn Davis

Lynn Davis is a writer who lives in North Carolina. “The Diver” is her first published poem, unless you count the one she wrote in sixth grade that everyone teased her about.

The Olympic moment I remember most
Does not involve gold medals
Or bright, enthusiastic faces in the Parade of Nations.
It’s one man, a German,
Who went in for a dive and landed on his back
And scored zeros across the board.
Imagine his disappointment,
Rage, even:
How stupid,
How incredibly stupid.
When I watch the video on YouTube,
I want to thank him
And tell him how much he means to me,
For who among us does not say, Goddamn,
What I could have done different,
What I could have done better.
And isn’t that so much more human:
Our persistent