Everyone Gets to the Ground Somehow

Everyone gets to the ground somehow.
And I will admit I was a little more than scared.
Anyone who knows me knows my distaste toward hyperbole.
So, know this: I was terrified.
When the guide yelled, “go! go! go!”
My first step, I felt my calf muscle pull,
A searing pain.
But how could I turn back now?
This fear of heights, or this fear of falling. I’ll shut it out for now.
So, I kept running, until my feet felt no ground.
And, for seconds, or maybe just one,
I hung in the middle of air,
Until the guide behind scooped me into the chair between us.
But, I swear, I only got halfway inside,
All the way down.
“It’s OK,” he said in thickly-accented English. “It’s OK, It’s OK.”
My mind kept coming back to uneasy thoughts:
What if I fell?
What if this cord connecting us somehow became unhinged?
What if I unhinged it?

Everyone gets to the ground somehow.
Some ways are better to some than others.
Some hoot on the way down.
Some find peace they didn’t know waiting their turn.
Some think about dinner.
Some wonder what loved ones would be told if something went awry in the sky.
Could two kilos over really cause valid concern?
Am I really half out this sky bucket guided by Korean air
Must my legs shake so,
Or can I be less worried about being so out of control?
Can this cool, thin oxygen guide me in greedy gulps,
Instead of I trying to control every step,
Improbable feat for feet what feel nothing but fair air under there?
“Scared,” was all I could muster, bereft the bluster of others.

Everyone gets to the ground somehow.
So I did.
I went around and around and around.
Looking at clouds and trees all around.
But, I dared not look down.
Occasionally, I breathed.
Until the ground was found.
I did not think about dinner.
I did not hoot and holler.
I struggled with peace.
But, here I am.

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