I watched the man crossing the path
underneath the cascade of the waterfall.
It had been part of the route wine was carried
from the high lands, to be sold on the coast.
Back in the old days, that was.
But the old days weren’t very long ago.
He seemed confident
as he placed a foot carefully
in each of the footholds
hacked into the precipitous rock face.
He gripped the thick metal hawser
attached to the rock with strong
Gripped it firmly
and proceeded slowly
one step at a time.
I had a camera
and I thought
that it was a picture he would like to have
when he was dry and safe back on terra firma.
Then I thought,
suppose he falls,
falls into the waves,
to be smashed against the rocks
I didn’t want to have such a picture,
a picture of someone’s last moments
and I thought,
to take it
may jinx his journey
and even cause him to fall.
So I never took the picture.
But it made no difference.
The man fell anyway.