Shirley Alexander

(12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)

Fear of Falling


Fifty years ago, my sister and I raced across a long, high porch;
jumped off the end to fly across daffodils and old barking dogs.

That was before my sister fell.
She sprained her arm on harder ground.
Afterward, I would run across the porch,
leap into abandon, arms open to sky.

My sister would run to the edge,
brake a full stop, sit down, and cry.
I never understood her fear of jumping,
or the tears she shed for what was lost.

I spent a lifetime long jumping from one thrill to the next, fearless.
Then, one day I took the highest leap, for love. Now I understand.

Submitted: Thursday, August 19, 2010

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