trust,” she mumbled, rubbing her knees,
looking up at the slackened rope,
then the concerned young man by the tree
who had so skillfully unwound it.
“Oh, abracadabra,” she muttered, losing
her first limp toward the tree, and tying
all the knots again. She swung herself
into the proper branch, and in grand manner
threw into the audience a fragment
of torn lace that had been trailing
from the outer layer of her skirts.
“It's all a matter of trust,” she declared
and danced her way into the well-strung line.
And as she did her saltos in the center,
the confused young man cried out:
“Lady, I was only worried. If you had to
fall, I wanted you to do so early,
when the risks were relatively mild.
Not later on. Not now.”
“Thank you, young man,” she called down with a bow,
then, taking her good time, she danced along
into the open arms of the opposite tree.
All rights reserved.
I dedicate this to Meg Pokrass's Tightrope Walker piece (which, I notice, has already disappeared from Fictionaut posting--still yet . . .)
First published in Focus (1983) under my prior name Beate Goldman