The Cliffs of Mistake

Original Text: 
Molly Peacock, The Second Blush (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2008): 19. PS3566 .E15 S43 2008 Robarts Library
Molly Peacock, The Second Blush: Poems, 1st edn. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008). PS3566 .E15 S43 2008X Robarts Library
1To know you're making a mistake as
2you make it, yet not be able to stop,
3is to step off a cliff, expecting to scramble
4backward and up through the air to stand
5on the outcrop you stepped from,
6even though it can't unhappen as you
7backpeddle wildly with the second step,
8looking far, far below onto the moraine
9of pain you anticipate later, which is now
10only the shock of recognizing the result
11there's no leaping back from.
12Oh God, and this is only a metaphor.
13Might this be what metaphors are for?
14To say what it's like
15                              before you hit what it is.
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Molly Peacock with artist Mindy Belloff The Cliffs of Mistake (New York: Intima Press [Mindy Belloff], 2006). This (earlier) version is in a broadside at
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright 2008 Molly Peacock: <i>Second Blush</i> W. W. Norton; and McClelland and Stewart. Permission to reproduce must be obtained from the publisher.