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Thursday, November 26, 2015


                         by John McInnes
Me on a high wire,
Setting out surely,
Making each movement
Seem easy and safe.
You down below me,
Sensing my caution,
Hoping each movement
Is easy and safe.
 Me on a high wire,
 Costumed and spotlit,
Full concentration
 On each balanced move.
You down below me,
Tensing and motionless,
Full concentration
On each balanced move.
Me on a high wire,
Letting a foot slip
Only a fraction,
 Awakening  your fear.
 Me, the performer,
Taking my chances,
Exciting my talent
 To share  it with you.
You the observer,
Cheering me silently,
 Sharing success with me,
Eyeing  me on.
 Me on a high wire,
Taking the last step,
Stretching to finish
My  journey  for us.
You down below me,
Gasping, applauding me,
 Sending a thank you
For  what  I have done.
 Me bowing, thank you
For letting me share it—
The feel of the high wire,
The feel of performing—
 High performance!

1. What central idea does the poem illustrate?
 A. the dangers of the high wire act
B. the performer’s relationship to the audience
 C. how exciting watching a high wire act can be
 D. how the performer must concentrate to balance
 2. Which of the following adjectives best describes the performer?
 A. hopeful
B. grateful
C. nervous
D. confident
3. Why does the poet alternate the stanzas between “Me” and “You”?
A. to show that the audience is afraid
B. to link the performer to the observer
C. to demonstrate the performer’s bravery
D. to emphasize the distance between the performer and the audience
4. Which line in the poem most strongly suggests that the performer deliberately tries to play with the audience’s feelings?
A. “Sensing my caution”
B. “Letting a foot slip”
 C. “Taking the last step”
 D. “Stretching to finish”

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