November 01, 2007


Up here on the high wire itís a sheer
sure-footed dance, a one-night mission
under the Big Top, without a safety net

to cushion. Itís the taunting missteps,
the sharp intake of breath, exhalations
of the squeamish egging me on, and the world

marble-smooth, veined to the core, perched
on the tip of my ongue. I juggle spangled
orbs from one palm to another, a marriage

of holding on and letting go. Youíd think
by now Iíd let it fall, the world cracked
open like a skull, bits of hair, feathers,

the loose associations. But once I knew
the buttons on a fly, the upturned collar,
the child licking her fingers imagining

an Africa, I knew all matter while compressed
is no longer solitary. As me how I keep it
twirling, defying gravity with every turn Ė

Iíll never tell. You wonít read fear
in eyes that glitter, dazzle, take you
by storm. Come one, come all, observe

communion with infinity. See the fabulous
steps, the foolhardy toes. Be amazed
by the pupil of possibility.

—Barbara Goldberg
Published in Jugglerís World (from Cautionary Tales, Dryad Press, 1990)

Posted by dwaber at November 1, 2007 02:22 PM