I spend my solo life in windy spaces,
way up above the throng, no safety net
below, exposed to row on row of faces
fixed on the acrobats in silhouette.
I’ll fall with one misstep or if the wire
splits or my fingers slip. I climb the rungs,
trembling, trembling. Rising higher, higher,
I cough out all the fumbles in my lungs,
and here’s my tiny platform, just a disk
that fits my feet. From here, I leap and swing
into the flashing lights, familiar with the risk
by now, but shocked to see you stand and fling
yourself from your own platform over there
and catch me from your swing through the thin air.
by Mary Meriam, from The Lillian Trilogy.
Editor’s Note: This delightful sonnet describes a moment of fear and exhilaration—the acrobat leaps, but the reader flies.
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