Patricia Deaton, Considering High Places

Patricia Deaton

Neither weak moments, pitch-black
thoughts nor a desire to live no more
keeps me from the balcony.

It’s not the unknown–drum-beat
of dreams–rising up and out
to signal all existence.

It’s not wondering how flying feels
soaring effort-free, boundless
heartsick urge to land

or hearing only echoes when I
shout down my loneliness.
It’s not fear of finding nothing

when the deed is tried and done.
It’s the push and pull of elements;
the amalgamated entity that shrinks back

from the rail, paying homage
to the mystery in me,
and all that it must be.

Author’s Comment: Living fours floor up for fifteen years, sometimes I wouldn’t allow myself out on the balcony–always because of a quietly-overwhelming feeling to stay away from the edge.

10 thoughts on “Patricia Deaton, Considering High Places

  1. I understand this feeling. I used to have it also. Once on the top of some high building, I would not go to the railing and look over. I knew I would not fall or jump, but just could not go to that railing.
    I like your poem on this subject.

  2. Patricia, love your “push and pull of elements,” the center of your poem, the mysteries that contradict and puzzle, that make life never dull.

  3. Yes, I feel that, too. And sometimes on the edge of bridge over clear, free-running water into which I want to leap!

  4. “…hearing only echoes when I shout down my loneliness” – what a brilliant line, Patricia! I enjoy this poem very much.

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