Invented for rescues
of red-faced inhabitants
from burning tenements
or reckless experiments by beings
with no wings,
for night-time arrivals among nations
who were nameless
and such a long way from home,
for space-shuttles returning
from Mars, for armies in free-fall,
for testing the density of air
which today is as heavy as apples,
for small Georgia Broadwick who did it
at five over Los Angeles,
for stepping out into sky
in high heels and sheer nylons,
for the harness and grommets,
for the drag co-efficient of silk,
for the risers,
for the light trapped in the canopy,
for the flowers of ice, their six-sided crystals,
for the songs and holy-rollering and white sand,
for the ineffable thrill of it all,
for soft landings in hard times,
for cushioning my fall.