The Full Indian Rope Trick

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;
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.

from The Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador, 2004), © Colette Bryce 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Colette Bryce in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

Glossary

Featured in the archive

Close