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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 7: March 2021
Poem: 75 words
By Cynthia Anderson

Trail Chains


you inch your way 
along the precipice 
hand over hand 

whatever it takes 
for the view 
and the thrill 

of that precarious 

the vertical cliff 
towards your new 
sense of self 

the edge between 
flying and falling 

you cling 
to the shadow side 
pull towards the light 

slick stones underfoot 
faint clouds overhead—
don’t look down 

as you round 
the last curve 
just hold your breath 

facing into the wind 


—After a photograph by Cindy L. Sheppard: The Chains That Free Us

—One of four Finalists in The Chains Writing Challenge

Cynthia Anderson
Issue 7, March 2021

lives in the Mojave Desert. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Spillway, Crab Creek Review, Apercus, Askew, San Pedro River Review, Mojave River Review, The Coil, and Split Rock Review, among others. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of nine poetry collections and co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens.

Author’s website: www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com

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