A Colleague Falls to His Death at Niagara Falls by Marjorie Maddox
A colleague falls to his death at Niagara Falls
Of course, somebody caught him
on film, a small, bright speck,
like dust on a lens twitching
in indecision on the edge
of the world’s roaring
whoosh of wet wonder.
But close up,
who was there as he lifted
one leg after another
over the unpearly gate and dove
headfirst into irony?
A man and his lover?
A schoolgirl and her mother
(Look, Mommy, the man is flying)?
Or all of us
who dare breathe
the thick sound of grief
when it swims in the ear,
plunges to the inner
rush of nothingness?
Somewhere in a dark room, a man watches
the film of a stranger’s death
and tries to pause the reason
for leaving ground for water.
We, too, listen as the mind’s reel
clicks its possibilities
We scan newspaper conjectures,
hum sad ballads on the way to work
where someone new sits
at the man’s desk,
adjusts honeymoon photos,
whistles songs of the sea.
We do not know the wife
huddled alone on their anniversary
in their large home
Soon, we will search the man’s words
for reasons that are not there.
We will go to the service to view
the body that is not there.
When the music sounds,
we will carefully type ourselves
into the credits.
Check out more photos by Kerry Skarbakka here.
Recommended listening: The First Year – Tajdar Junaid
Links of the day: Paperman by John Kars