He stood upon a precipice so high,
He scarcely heard the cries of those below,
Who saw his figure braced against the sky,
Outlined with morning sunshine’s golden glow.
The watchers felt his gaze as he looked down,
His silent study held them all entranced.
His concentration forced his face to frown,
As on the edge of terror he balanced.
Three times, he felt the wind give him a shove,
As though to push his body from the brink;
Or slapped him with a sunlit velvet glove,
To break his reverie and make him think.
He shook, confused, uncertain, and afraid,
Unable to remember why he came;
Nor understood the journey that he made,
Or why he played this lonely, deadly game.
The sighing of the wind became a song,
It sang to him of freedom and of rest.
He hummed a little, almost sang along,
His heart beat wildly deep within his chest.
A strong hand gripped his arm and held him fast.
He turned to see another on the ledge;
A minstrel dressed in clothes of greenish cast,
Who helped to guide him back from death’s dark edge.
“How odd!” He thought, to see a tiny fire,
A cheery blaze of deep, emerald hue.
A welcome sight, a bright funeral pyre,
Considering the deed he came to do.
“I didn’t want to die writhing in pain;
I thought it best to end my agony!”
Caught in the act, he thought he should explain,
“I thought it best to end my life quickly.”
The Minstrel sang of courage just to live,
To face those painful battles, day-by-day;
And to accept the truth he had to give:
That life is not a gift to throw away.
The song revealed the lives that he could touch,
The people he would hurt with his demise,
And family that he would hurt so much,
It brought unbidden tears to his blue eyes.
He cried a little while, then looked around;
The Minstrel and his green fire both were gone.
He sat and heard the wind’s soft, plaintive sound,
It seemed to say, “Get up, friend...life goes on!”
Sometimes it takes more courage to live, than to die.