Because some may be interested in seeing the evolution of the poem, I am including both the new (top) and original (bottom) versions. It's a little painful to print the original version because I think it's so bad ("defibrillator for this heart attacked"?! "sweet elixir of life"?! "mad maestro's last concerto"?! Not to mention the poorly chosen line breaks. Oy.), but I did promise bad poetry and I'd hate to disappoint.
Oh, and one last note - for anyone who might not know, Wallenda is the family name of a famous group of circus performers, many of whom met tragic outcomes because they performed without nets.
We Are Not Wallendas
You ask me if I can
Wait for you, and I
Say I have the patience
Of a locust pupa that has
Years to wait for flight,
The fortitude of a modern
Graphic novel heroine; picture
A prima ballerina side-stepping
Landmines – grace and bravery.
I want to believe
Your word means something. Spare
And carefully weighed
Words – the perfect folds in a parachute,
The correctly calculated length
Of bungee rope, a strong roll
Cage for the Indy – you offer.
And so I have
The trust of a trapeze
Artist letting go
Above the flaming pit,
Knowing your hands
Will grasp mine
Just in time, for we
Are not Wallendas.
Because We Are Not Wallendas
You ask me if I an wait for you and I
Say I have
The patience of a locust pupa that has
Years to wait for flight.
The fortitude of a modern-day fairytale heroine;
Picture a prima ballerina side-stepping
Land mines - grace and bravery.
And I believe your word
Is the open parachute,
The securely anchored and correctly calculated
Length of bungee rope,
The roll cage in this locomotive,
The defibrillator for this heart attacked,
Our love - the sweet elixir of life, the passion
Of a mad maestro's last concerto.
And so I have the trust
Of a trapeze artist - or any artist - letting go
Above the flaming pit, knowing your hands
Will grasp mine in time,
In time to save this.
Because we are not Wallendas.
To read other poems or poetry-related posts on this blog, click here.