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A Tightrope Walk

Rhonda Johnson-Saunders Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled A Tightrope Walk which was written by poet Rhonda Johnson-Saunders. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A Tightrope Walk


I balance on a tightrope. Surrounded by 
lovers and dreamers, I teeter above a raging sea.
I admire their glossy smiles and envy
their bright-eyed confidence; envy is a sin, I know.
Please forgive me; a lie would carry more guilt.
The waves crash in dark shades of gray, still they smile.
Their laughter from all around pierces the thin air.
I teeter alone; I may or may not fall.
My fate is undetermined, in my own hands;
the tragedy today may be tomorrow's comedy.
Their laughter echoes...
On a day like today, the fresh tears sting. 
If only I could wake from the nightmare,
pry open the windows of my tortured soul.
If only I could charm the feral...if only.
Oh, the skeletal monsters we are bequeathed!
Yes, I understand the meaning of loyalty.
A fool believes the wicked will fall.
A fool believes the merciless will change.
Can a hollow chest develop a beating heart?
I chisel stone walls, searching for a glimmer of hope,
a flicker of humanity behind steel beams.
Could you spare a token of remorse?
I dare to drop a coin in a fountain of wishes.
A pocketful of coins jingle as my wishes sink
to the bottom of the venomous waters. 
I am patient as I teeter on the tightrope.
The audience cheers taking pleasure in my pain.
Blood pulsates through my veins, yet I feel cold winds
penetrate my soul. I refuse to cower or
live in contention... 
Blood is thicker than ink. 
I find my balance in the written word, a gift of life! 
Words sometimes spill from a bleeding heart.
I beseech the ghosts of the past to end their haunting.
Their breath is the frigid wind. I find shelter...
Tempered is the skin of the wounded. Who knows
what may lie beneath the flesh. In the mirror,
you may find a frightened child in need of love.
Most find the strength to balance and stand.
Every step brings me closer to solid ground...
I am reaching for you. Please take my hand.

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  1. Date: 8/24/2012 6:27:00 PM
    so powerfull! and an excellent wrap up! Congrad's on your win. Light & love

  1. Date: 8/23/2012 5:18:00 PM
    Congratulations, Rhonda, on your excellent win in John's contest. Hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 8/23/2012 7:19:00 AM
    Thank you for your comments! Touching and moving words in this poem! Well written! Take care! JP

  1. Date: 8/21/2012 10:59:00 AM
    This truly is a masterpiece Rhonda. It was a gripping write from the first word to the end. You made me see and feel with you. Fantabulous work. Big Fav.

  1. Date: 8/21/2012 6:23:00 AM
    Congratulations on your well deserved placement in John Heck's "Dazzled" contest Rhonda. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 8:04:00 PM
    wow, you must have studied up on what John Heck enjoys about poetry. this is a great example. Great imagery in free verse. It takes the cake, my friend. Big congrats on your win.

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 9:18:00 AM
    Wow.........another poem of yours that just blows me away! Your poems are getting better and better, and I cannot find one line that misses a beat......"tempered is the skin of the wounded"........where words like that come from........is genius! Congratulations!

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 4:49:00 AM
    Congratulations on your smashing win xx

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 3:57:00 AM
    Wow...yes, 'words sometimes spill from a bleeding heart'... what an awesome line which I can surely identify with, Rhonda...exquisitely written poem...congratulations - Tim

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 2:50:00 AM
    Rhonda congrats on your great win...enthralling...David

  1. Date: 8/19/2012 8:19:00 PM
    This is DEEP! Congrats on your win!!

  1. Date: 8/19/2012 7:16:00 PM
    WOW! And I rarely ever exclaim: "WOW!" An excellent write. Congratulations! Peace always, J

  1. Date: 8/19/2012 9:23:00 AM
    A very moving poem, you have touched me deply inside with your words. I still see that frightened child in the mirror, even after decades. I am trying to learn to see past her.

  1. Date: 8/19/2012 8:45:00 AM
    Rhonda wow, I felt like I was on that tightrope with you swaying and swaying not knowing where it was going next, very well done...David

  1. Date: 8/19/2012 8:23:00 AM
    An excellent write, Rhonda! So intense and emotionally stirring. This is going in my favs. Love, Kim