May 14, 2012

High Wire by Joan Colby


Who can trust the wind.
It sails the wanderer home
to a house it has demolished. You know
its inconsistant nature:
verb of air that won't be conjugated.

Space yawns like a mouth.
You hang by your heels to seize
a white bird falling
with the face of your ambition.

Your son nailed to a chair
can never swerve your step
through netless realms of air.
You test currents before gliding
with a crosspiece like a man heading
for calvary.

The errant gust, as strung between skyscrapers,
you become a pendulum
of time gaining momentum
until there can be no retreat. All the way down
your grip your balance pole.
It cannot bless you now.

The cable sways in heaven
like a venomous viper or the sinuous road
only angels risk. But your children
will walk blindly in your footsteps
learning the graven shape
of the misstep.





Seven books published including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 980 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest--Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.

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