That fancy name for the urge to jump
from the top of the Empire State building,
climb over the rail of the Golden Gate bridge,
step off the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Some experts consider this intrusive thought,
also called the “high place phenomenon,”
an alarm signal gone wrong–our brains really
saying, Back up or you may fall.
I am standing on the edge of my life.
Some days I feel the pull of gravity
more than others. Is that a death wish?
How close am I to the precipice?
Je ne sais pas.
Nancy Harris McLelland taught creative writing, composition, and literature for over twenty years and Conducted writing workshops for the Western Folklife Center, Great Basin College , and the Great Basin Writing Project . An Elko County native with a background in ranching. McLelland has presented her "Poems from Tuscarora" Both at daytime and evening events at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Her essay, "Border Lands: Cowboy Poetry and the Literary Canon" is in the anthology Cowboy Poetry Matters .