Jump Rope by Connie Wanek
There is menace
in its relentless course, round and round,
describing an ellipsoid,
an airy prison in which a young girl
Whom will she marry? Whom will she love?
The rope, like a snake,
has the gift of divination,
yet reveals only a hint, a single initial.
But what if she never misses?
Is competence its own reward?
Will the rope never strike her ankle,
love's bite? The enders turn and turn,
two-handed as their arms tire,
their enchantments exhausted.
It hurts to watch her now,
flushed and scowling,
her will stronger than her limbs,
her braids lashing her shoulders
with each small success.