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..
Thin air. First try.
A crown hushed, squinting eyes
at a full sun. There
on the stones
the slack weight of a rope
coiled in a crate, a briad
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.

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