Balance is everything, is the only
way to hold on.
I've weighed the alternatives, the hold
as harbor: It isn't safe
to let go. But consider the hover,
choices made, the moment
between later and too late.
Hesitation is later, regret
too late. You can't keep turning
and turning, or expecting
to return. This earth
is not a wheel, it is a rock
that erodes, mountain by mountain.
And I have been too soft,
like sandstone, but there is a point
where I stand without a story,
immutable and moved, solid
as a breath in winter air.
I have seen my death and I know
it is my neighbor, my brother,
my keeper. In my life
I am going to keep trying
for the balance,
remembering the risks and the value
of extremes, and that experience
teaches the length of allowable lean;
that it is easier — and wiser —
to balance a stone as if on one toe
though it weigh a hundred pounds
than to push it back against the curve
of its own world.