Fear of Falling
Fifty years ago, my sister and I raced across a long, high porch;
jumped off the end to fly across daffodils and old barking dogs.
That was before my sister fell.
She sprained her arm on harder ground.
Afterward, I would run across the porch,
leap into abandon, arms open to sky.
My sister would run to the edge,
brake a full stop, sit down, and cry.
I never understood her fear of jumping,
or the tears she shed for what was lost.
I spent a lifetime long jumping from one thrill to the next, fearless.
Then, one day I took the highest leap, for love. Now I understand.
Shirley Alexander's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Fear of Falling by Shirley Alexander )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- "Hope" is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson
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