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Corbin Forum : Poems from Athena Speaks

Selected Works from Athena Speaks: Thirty Years of Women at West Point

Climbing
I learned something very, very important while
learning to mountain climb in Alaska.
When you are climbing a cliff face, your most basic
human instinct
is to get as close to that cliff as possible – it is the only
thing solid between you
and death.
But, if you hug the cliff, you take away your leverage.
Brining your center of gravity straight up over your
feet and hands puts all your weight
directly onto tiny foot and hand-hold.
Slipping and falling becomes inevitable.
The ONLY way to preserve yourself is to LET GO of
your fear
your most deep and basic fear and instinct for survival
and push away from the cliff.
There, suspended over God and creation,
you give your feet and hands the leverage they need to support your weight.
Pushing out, letting go a bit, is the only way
to save yourself
Betsy Ford Barron, Class of 1987
 
Levittown
Another day - painted smiles on comely
faces...
Rosy cheeks walking past redundant,
synthetic beauty...
Lawn after lawn engineered perfectly
a strategically placed lawn ornament,
the crown jewel.

Going down
to the Shop-O-Rama...
Everone is going to be there.
Arm in arm, skipping merrily along...avoiding the
cracks.
And suddenly they stop and stare...
As the girl
with the crooked halo
walks past...
Clena Abuan, Class of 2007