Let Go

She looks about forty,
and sports
an unflattering,
goosey neck.
But her anxiety
today
gives her the
fresh innocence
of a circus fool.
This could be her
first day at school –
shiny, buffed shoes,
stiff cuffs
she’s not used to;
today feels like
sandpaper,
chafing her
coddled ego.
It’s her first day
on the job,
a supermarket
smile-o-matic
checkout teller,
chaperoned
by the old hand,
a haggard vet,
with her intimidating
war medals;
supervisor,
liquor manager,
safety rep.
And as the newbie hands
me my change,
green apron
shaking like a leaf,
I suddenly realise
this is how we learn:
Vulnerable,
bumbling,
exposed,
we at last leap
and try an ugly flap
of gallumphing wings,
falling falling,
bruised arse.
But in her
desperate eyes,
darting for the
nearest exits,
I see the kindle of
a fledgling life,
keen and quick,
I feel the loosening
stones.
Some of us will remain
boulders that
cling against the slope,
all the while the
little pebbles,
joyous,
leap from beneath
our untenable life.
Others will let go,
at last tumbling in freefall,
fear trembling,
to be smashed to pieces
into a million eyes
cracked open.

Copyright Ricky barrow 2013

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