For a Moment

They’re all young, blonde university students,
have an intelligent look, wear sweatshirts,
NYU, Brown, Syracuse, places that require
academic effort prior to entry, a glimmer
of scholarly excellence to come, a bit of brain
work needed to make it through college.

And it’s needed now, too, a sharp mind,
because the rocks are slippery in this mist atop
Mount Seorak, at 6500 feet, the highest peek
in Gangwon Province, the fog so dense
you can’t see more than 15 feet below, the start
of the longest, last fall you’d ever take.

Each in turn goes to the cliff edge, poses
just beyond the Beware of Falling signs, inches
backward laughing, strikes the perfect pose
for a picture, the last one – I whisper out to her
“Please don’t” – slides ever closer to the edge,
then holds her fingers in Vs and jumps in the air.

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