Now I approach my Eightieth, climbing
the rope of the years, knot over knot,

to the platform above which dangles the rope
to Eighty-One, -Two, and on, until

we run clean out of rope. “Bummer!”
I’ll yell, like Karl Wallenda falling

from his tight-wire. My wire’s as tight
and high above the circus floor.

The Flying Wallendas gathered around him
shattered, their feet on the ground for once.

“Life is being on the wire,” he said.
“All the rest is just waiting.”