I’m learning it all – acrobatics, clowning,
fire from a sleeve: my hand’s a wand.
I weave my life around dancing elephants
who spray the air while turning their backs
on the crowd;
lions who never put a foot wrong.
I’m taking their cue, I’ve seen
what people want.
Prancing ponies teach me steps:
pacing, adroitness, like my fellow-dancers
keeping their spot.
I’m walking the high-wire, making my mark
poised, balanced, don ’t look away –
you are my gravity’s other edge.
© Katherine Gallagher
(Published in Carnival-Edge: New & Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 2010)