Beth Feldman Brandt

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Balance

Find it in the young men, their low-slung jeans
and unstrung shoes, shuttling down the handrails.

Above, the El expresses itself down Broad Street
expresses us up to the high floor hustle

where the window washer, swaying on his twin pivots,
takes a swipe at clarity.

On 5th Street, she lifts the steel window shade,
sweeps the daybreak, dust swirling to the Centro rhythm

as the 47 spins its wheels through the Market,
awnings unfurled in the commotion of commerce.

No point of stillness in this city circus—

rapid transit of mass and weight and gravity,
the push and pull that deflects our progress,

diverts us with forces that are
not enough and too much, and we feel

too much and not enough but stay anyway,
step out each day into air,

risk the fall, are carried away,
ride this turbulent City.

 

You can also see a video of Beth reading this poem at the Delaware Valley Grantmakers Conference (scroll down to "Video Highlights/Poetic Voices")

 

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