Monday, September 26, 2011

Poem: Watching the Maid of the Mist

Watching the Maid of the Mist

You stand safe on the cliffs and watch
the boat, short and sturdy
nose its way up stream,
not in leaps and bounds,
but in tiny movements,
it's powerful engines as unrelenting
as the currents,
and for this moment,
a bit more powerful.

You recall that strength,
how once you felt alone
was strong, alone
was safe, until you found the danger,
how aloneness allows no rest,
no power that is not your own
sustaining you.
How any lapse

would send
dangerously careening down the gorge
to rocks that wait like Spartans
alert and still,
for your death.

You stand safe on the cliffs and watch
in fearful amazement
at the foolish courage,
at the dance of singular defiance
you once danced yourself
without watchful love
to hold you as you failed,
your breath stilled
in fear remembered. 


Often, I think, fear remembered is the most powerful fear. It can spur us to do things differently and to grow and become more, or it can paralyze us.

The picture is indeed of the Maid of the Mist, as it inched towards the unrelenting falls of Niagra. You can click on it for a larger version.



Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful, Tom...I especially like the last stanza...

ev said...

nice one...

speed on!