Below the Cliff
Stephen Gardner

Here ivy tendrils hang through air
And attach themselves in lower places
To damp rocks. Some throw air-roots
Into the bank, or wrap around
Rhododendron branches, growing
Long and thin in the small light
That filters down through the shrubs.

And in spite of the water
That drifts into our eyes
We can see to move
Across the foot of the falls,
Rock to rock, leaving our prints
Flat in the moss and algae, wet and shining
In the afternoon.

And so many voices
On the other bank, calling me,
Calling, as reaching out one hand,
The other behind for balance, I
Leap, only slightly safe, to arms
That are safety, wanting to give me
My balance, on the bank.

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