Balancing on the Edge

bird flying
I scramble
over rocks and boulders
heaved up by giants’ glacier breath
through spruce
and fragrant fern
glimpsing ripples
on the hourglass lake below

New metal joints 
gave me a promise
sealed in blood and grinding bones 
I’m holding them to it

Panting, sweating
on iron hand holds
Working my way 
through rockfalls
Daring to test my newfound mettle
The limestone cliff faces
are impassive 

I break through the tree line
of pine and blueberry scrub
Step out onto an ice age island
of stone
floating among the high peaks

Suddenly weightless,
I too am floating
Barely tethered by titanium
Balancing on the edge

Above me 
a bronze feathered hawk rises
on thermal currents 
and promises

Elizabeth Fletcher

Poems by Elizabeth Fletcher have appeared in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Book of Matches, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Dillydoun Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Ariel Chart, Orchard Hill, and Spaceports & Spidersilk. She was nominated in 2023 for the Rhysling award in the long poem category and in 2021 for a Pushcart prize in 2021. Her Philadelphia Inquirer publications include essays on Snowy owls and sea turtles. She has a BA in English from Hamilton College and an MS in Technical Writing from Drexel University. She is currently working on a middle grade fantasy/adventure novel about the friendship of a young girl and a dragon.