So Many Ways to Fall

Standing upright leaves precious few options. It’s only there, balanced just so, that you exist.

But beyond what’s plumb there is also lean left, lean right, back or forth, or slip on ice, miss a step, trip on a boot, and blunder here and here, and also here.

To be unbalanced seems more natural than not. To suddenly shift weight — to lose the element of control, is effortless.

And you fight to stay steady, to keep your head, as they say – which is heaviest of all — from moving out in front or too far behind, so that it catches gravity, and then gravity does the rest.

You call the imbalance irresistible, and you go where one is not supposed to go, to be where one ought not.

And soon you find yourself – for no good compensation – contemplating losing in an instant what moments before you held in your grasp.

And those things, you’ve collected with patience, through time and with teeth gritted and sweat on your brow, well they all come tumbling.

Un-strong, you reach out your arms to take hold of that which is not yours. And you become too heavy on top…

And what do you say to the ones who looked up to you – until now – with respect; staring incredulous, with eyes moist and red?

How can it be that balance was lost, and for what?

“It was for no reward,” you one day concede, but for strength’s lack alone.

So many ways to fall.