The Beam

Vacillation on the beam, the
trembling leg, the frightened
foot that steps, wrung, on the
four-inch wood - on either
side, the black, the white, the
fall, the rise, the press
of people's eyes, the cries of
birds of all kinds
flying in the darkness -

and the past hovers, with wings,
behind, and strong breath
on the neck back, and the
future wild with possibility,
opaque and difficult
to see.    What more to do in life
except step, and feel the next
few feet of wood beneath
the feet.   What more to do

but think of the way back
unpassable, the gorge swallowing
years like air and rushing
like water, the foam and froth
swallowed and regurgitated
motion.   Best foot forward
trails the body behind like booty,
the green sward
in the mind only, the quiet earth.

And people disappear, leaving
unhealing scarring on the heart, the
bleeding wall forever oozing
self like blood, and the forehead
gashed with striking.    Life, the
hard iron, the forge of fire and
will, the dents and heated
metal moulding the self like
a sword God's hand can wield.
The Teetering Woman
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