I cricked my neck to watch them climb, unhitch each trapeze, take hold and launch
and every time they swung, my stomach too lurched and thumped my throat, as
spangles on their costumes formed a rainbow arc lit and lost by the glaring floodlights
as they somersaulted, hung below the rod, grabbed the girl who had climbed up unseen
swung and swapped her swing to swing at the height of their swoop, timed perfectly
and all this while my fingernails knifed into my palms. I was that girl, possessed,
until they ended as a pyramid, all on one trapeze, bowing and waving
to set me free, uncurl my hands and find a row of tiny arcs imprinted there.
Biography: Jean Watkins has a BA from the University of Reading. Her poems have been widely published in anthologies and magazines. Her collections published by Two Rivers Press are Scrimshaw (2013) and Precarious Lives (2018).