This is second nature to me, this stepping into thin air

Feeling nothing beneath your feet. No solid ground

To hold you up, to banish all despair

No. Nothing but space on every side – and up and down

No hand holds, no parachute, no railings, no rope.

A universe unknown and dark below but not without hope.

This is where you tilt your head and gaze toward the stars

And breathe in deeply – again – again – again – don’t look down,

Chin up – up -up. It’s who you are, who you’ve always been.

And who knows why but step you will and step you must

Across the great divide that separates those who merely live

And those who lust for life – before they turn to dust.


(written on the occasion of another right turn)


Susan McElroy