†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††



Tipping Point*




That first pen-tip touch

sprays fragments loose from nowhere

like a train print through a canyon

echoing an avalanche long after.


Itís like childrenís ears

falling in a furrow before the sun is shut

forgetting hide and seek when they hear

the crackling mystery of growing July corn,


or like fishermen roping in the sound

cocked for coconut musk in the making

when the first westerlies splash their wet calves

cold with promises of skipjack way beyond the reef,


or the barefoot boy deep in summer woods

searching for a tanager along a thicket creek

stilled by the grainy plash of an icy spring

bracing his fingertips with slow silver chrism.



Jerome L. McElroy



††††††††††† *Accepted in ByLine (November 2005).