Ann Keiffer

The Iron Cross

The gymnast–every move
and muscle mastered–
holds onto twin rings
suspended from the
ceiling high above him.

The ring straps thwack
as he flips his body
between the rings
in a mid-air layout
and up to a handstand.

With impossible control,
toes pointed to a slice,
body razor-straight,
he tips into a slow wheel
that takes him upright,
then lowers his body
between the rings,
pushing the rings
out to left and right,
until his arms are parallel
to the floor and ceiling…

and he forms with his body
the gymnastic strength move
called The Iron Cross.

Though I couldn’t
do a single pull-up,
when the realities
of my life are rough
and show no sign
of letting up,
the Iron Cross
is my inspiration.

With one hand
I hold the ring of
My Life As It Is,
accepting the tough
realities that are
part of my story.
With the other hand,
I hold onto the ring
of the possibility of
Change And Healing.

My eyes on now,
toes pointed to
arms open to
whatever is
or may be,
I hold the tension
of living at the
of those opposites.

Gymnasts use
magnesium chalk
to keep a grip.
My only chalk
is grace.

Ann Keiffer
April, 2015

Image: Google Search


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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