Barbara Lydecker Crane

I trip up, upend, end up without a clue to balance
outside my checkbook–there I do accrue a balance.

But that’s just a sum, not the process of equilibrium
resettling, in rocking waves, a tippy canoe’s balance.

If I drift in a rowboat, content to be afloat, balance
finds me unawares. But I’m driven to pursue balance.

Figure skaters must be resolute and yet be loose, too.
Stiff hips or knees before a jump? Adieu, balance….

Not that I can do it! But whenever I admire skaters,
my spine arcs in sync with their artful, true balance.

Tightrope walker Phillipe Petit would ask his friends
to jiggle the wire, so that he learned to renew balance.

He walked a high-wire between skyscraper roofs;
no fear, wind or glance below would undo balance.

It’s constant compensation, not a noun of destination.
Don’t Crane your neck–just move ahead. You balance.


BARBARA LYDECKER CRANE has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and ALPHABETRICKS.  Recent poems have appeared in Angle, Light, The Lyric, Rotary Dial and Think Journal.  She gives two reasons for her enjoyment of ghazal writing: she likes knowing where a line is headed, and she appreciates that both her first and last names have more than one meaning.  “Lydecker" is not so lucky!