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.
Shirley Alexander's Other Poems
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