There is Risk Here

The persistent supervision of every
Who, what, when, and where in my life
Is not akin to a juggler keeping balls in the air.
My son,
My daughter,
The students I govern each day,
They are the matter I endeavor to keep aloft.
Balls bounce.
They roll, retrievable.
Mine are not always resilient.

If anything, I am a juggler of eggs.
I observe, anticipate, propel and protect,
Try to stay focused,
Fight the unrelenting urge to
Stop. Block out the ceaseless swish and whirl.
Perhaps keep one eye open,
Hold my breath against the sickening crack of
Fragile shell on unyielding ground.
I listen hard, jolt and re-jolt myself out of derelict reverie,
And try to keep those fragile eggs from falling on my watch.

I am not so vain to think that they are raw
And any sloppy toss, any clumsy catch
Will end in catastrophic crunch and ooze.
But when they’re hurtling past my face,
It’s tough to tell which would sustain the impact
Should I let my mind drift,
Miss my mark and lose my grasp,
And which are already cracked from
Some previous lapse of attention
And vulnerable to life’s unapologetic solidity.

My son.
My daughter.
The students I govern every day.
Don’t insult us with playful imagery,
A juggler keeping balls in the air.
Balls bounce.
They roll, retrievable.
Mine are not always resilient.
I am a juggler of eggs.
There is risk here.

– Beth Silverman Landau, 2011

One Comment on “There is Risk Here

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