Every Which Way

by Susan Sherman

Imagine a globe spinning through space
You are standing in Canada    The stars are
singularly bright    You watch them in silence
You are standing in China    Bikers struggle
through crowded streets    Pollution so dense
it obscures the light    You are standing in Spain
It is summer    The sun burns your flesh
as you reach toward your daughter’s hand
You are standing in Africa    The Serengeti is quiet
Predators wait for night    You are standing in Antarctica
the sky dimming in preparation for winter’s long sleep
You are standing at the North Pole    or in a big city
Calcutta perhaps    or Moscow    Buenos Aires    New York
You are standing in the suburbs    on the plains
on an    island    Do you ever think it curious
no matter where you are    freed of gravity
you will fall into space    Perhaps even now you
slant at a ninety degree angle    or worse
with your head hanging permanently down
How athletic to be stretched out sideways
rigid as a board    What determination to remain
the wrong way round    the soles of your feet where
your head should be    Have you ever considered
how distorted our perception of who we are
how we are placed might be    when we are    all of us
standing    every which way but up