the thrill is in the possibility
not that she will
but that she won’t make it

that the parabola will fade
stop and the very air will arc
between her fingers and the rung

and that in that sequined flash
the sawdust ring will rocket
up to catch her clumsy fall

of course she never will
since her very first pied à tête
she has learnt to stop breath

upside down and inside out
to swallow dive on the intake
and lift again in the gasp

to swoop in a swooping
ellipse of light and to laugh
in spite of the spite she spites

by James Norcliffe