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Learning to Balance

by Liana Kapelke-Dale

Being with you is like trying to keep up with a rocket.

I can fly pretty well,

but you’re fire-powered.

You exhale ranunculus blossoms

which I gather to line up in a row on your windowsill,

eventually making a pyramid

of little ranunculus cheerleaders.

Image of a person in water pushing themselves up to the surface toward the light.
Image credit: thewavephotographer on Unsplash

When I’m not with you, grounded,

I’m forced to slow down,

not as hard as it has been with others,

but I have to keep remembering

to bring myself back

to center


over and over again—blindfolded—

relying on only my sense of touch

and the moon’s upward pull.


Together, you and I are ranunculus and rose,

shooting up quickly through the fresh earth,

roots entwined.


Apart, I learn slowly

to balance, blind,

on only one leg.


Black and white image of the author, Liana Kapelke-Dale.
Liana Kapelke-Dale

Liana Kapelke-Dale (she/her) is a queer poet, mixed-media artist, ATA Certified Translator (Spanish to English), and non-practicing attorney. She is the author of the full-length collection Seeking the Pink (Kelsay Books) as well as two poetry chapbooks. Her poetry has been featured in myriad journals. Liana lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her lovely pointer-hound mix, Poet.

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