The Full Indian Rope Trick

Colette Bryce

There was no secret

murmured down through a long line

of elect; no dark fakir, no flutter

of notes from a pipe,

no proof, no footage of it -

but I did it,

 

Guildhall Square, noon,

in front of everyone.

There were walls, bells, passers-by;

then a rope, thrown, caught by the sky

and me, young, up and away,

goodbye.

 

Goodbye, goodbye.

Thin air. First try.

A crowd hushed, squinting eyes

at a full sun. There

on the stones

the slack weight of a rope

 

coiled in a crate, a braid

eighteen summers long,

and me

I'm long gone,

my one-off trick

unique, unequalled since.

 

And what would I tell them

given the chance?

It was painful; it took years.

I'm my own witness,

guardian of the fact

that I'm still here.