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Ahhh, safe at last from that ogre's grasp.
It winked at me, I'm sure, as if to say,
"Next time, perhaps. I'll be waiting."

But as my heart slows and worry fades
like the memory of a lover's last kiss,
I realize that safety is a fleeting satisfaction
for the truly audacious spirit.

For even as my eyes wave goodbye
to that once and future nemesis,
my attention leans downstream.
My ears perk for that telling roar.
My stomach craves the pinch of adrenaline.

And now I know what I enjoy
even more than glorious anticipation,
more than death's halfhearted lunge,
more than the promise of that calm pool.

What my navigator's heart lives for
again and again and again
is the feeling of a challenge answered
and words to claim my treasure.