Lay for the Day 28th
François Gravelot was born in St Omer in the Pas de Calais, northern
France, on this day in 1824. As the Great Blondin he would amaze the world
with his feats of funambulism. He first walked across Niagara Falls on
a high wire on 30th June 1859, and made several more crossings that summer,
including one on 14th August with his manager, Harry Colcord, on his back.
A spangled crucifix,
I inch across the tautened cavern
pitched in the pit of your stomach.
Did you see the canvas
waver from the wind youd forgotten
still blows outside, and bulge slightly?
Its your breath withheld
narrowed eyebeams fixed that support me:
Id tumble like down if you sighed.
My feet curl and dimple
around the rope, and the tense drums hush.
I feel forward on your raised hopes.
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