You will never be standing
on that impossibly thin line
four hundred metres
above the ground
between the two towers –
oh but you will:
all of us will, or were,
or are (even now),
only we did not realise then,
or have forgotten,
or choose to close our eyes
to the immensity of the drop.
(On 8/7/1974, Philippe Petit walked the tightrope betweeen the twin towers of the World Trade Center.)
I came across this poem called Footprints
in The Nation’s Favourite Twentieth Century Poems
by ANON. (and by God he or she knew why):
an overpowering poem for sheer mawkishness
and one hundred per cent genuine cringe value –
and I caught myself loving its message.
It’s about this man walking the beach with the LORD
(reliving his life in a dream), and looking back he sees
only one set of prints at the most difficult times,
and he accuses the LORD of deserting him
in his hour of need; whereupon HE replies
then HE was carrying him… I blinked back a tear,
then retraced their steps in the sand
to measure the depth of those solitary prints.
They were no deeper than when the man walked alone.