Knowing Doesn’t Always Translate

You know you’re safe, right?
It’s just the fear,
Just the fear telling you what to do:
A recoiling from the appearance of danger,
Forgetting the reality of harnesses and ropes.

So I tell myself I’m not afraid;
I tell everyone else as well.
I pretend to be daring and courageous–
Exercising my cunning skills
In lying to myself
And presenting a brave front.

I hope no one sees my hands shake,
Or the way I feel my feet
Almost slipping.
My stomach is a thousand tangles.

You know you’re safe, right?
You can come down if you want,
But you’re letting Fear decide.
Is that what you want?

So I climb higher and higher
With sweaty palms and shivering knees
Until I reach the top.
I hear cheering which I’d rather pretend
I didn’t need,
As if I’d conquered something.

And with feet to the edge
I hope no one will hear my breath leave
When I jump.
Can they see how white my knuckles are?

Count to three then jump.
You know you’re safe, right?

One, two, three…

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