Election Section

High Ropes By J. Steven Svoboda

Friday December 30, 2005

The cable traces the treacherous line 

Between falling and falling. 


Up on the high ropes, 

Tottering tree to tree, 

Everything’s sharp air and 

The blur of faded faces. 


Strapped into suburban security in 

The harness I never need, 

I hear a stranger’s heart thrumming in my throat. 


I’m frightened of these props that sustain me, 

Helping me to be more, 

Keeping me at less. 


Tricked on by some dumb dog of faith, tail wagging far below, I 

cross toward my moment of magnifi cence, 

Reaching for the next rope 

And holding on desperate as new love, 


Teetering on that precarious trust 

That two humble minutes can be this grand, 

That along the edge between death and dust 

Lies a narrow path to a warmer land.›