A story by Norma K. Salway from the 1950s
The Point, memories of Songo Pond, Maine.
Always in the distance, I could see the leaning tree,
On the eastern shore of Songo, it stood precariously.
This sandy point of land that jutted into the pond, Held the leaping place where faith and swimmers bond.
For years and years I’d watch them jump; the bravest souls would dive,
From the tiny platform perched atop where swimmers felt alive.
All had pounding hearts and desire to make a splash into the lake.
But, there was always trepidation of making a mistake. For it was always said if you didn’t jump out far – but instead went straight down,
You would not land in the drop-off- but hit the sandy ground!
There seemed to be an unwritten rule that a true swimmer be,
You’d swim from the beach to The Point and make the leap from the leaning tree!
It took me years to gather courage to be so bold.
And many times there was an excuse; the water was too cold.
But finally I did a test walk to see if the drop-off was really deep,
Before I ascended up that leaning trunk so rough and steep.
Ah, but I would not be alone, but with a group of friends.
We would all make that infamous climb and one by one descend.
Slowly, heart pounding, crawling with bended knees,
Toes curled into the bark,
I hugged the leaning tree.