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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


by Anne Graue

A couple taking a photo on the edge of a cliff died when they fell hundreds of feet while their young children watched, according to news reports. The Polish couple died after falling from the rocky edge in Cabo da Roca in west Portugal. They were apparently taking a 'selfie' photo of themselves, according to NBC and others, though details of the events leading up to the fall were still hazy. A local English language news site, the Portugal Resident, said the parents had given the children the camera to take a picture. Their children, ages 5 and 6, were turned over to Polish diplomats and are undergoing psychiatric care. --USA Today, August 12, 2014. Photo: Portuguese National Tourist Office via USA Today.

Stepping back, waving
to the boys

smiling as one foot
slips on loose rock
before the other goes

they fall together
back into blue
sky, the camera

still in the hands
of the six-year-old

watching his mother
as she leans
back into the sun

his father as he
reaches for her
to catch her hand

the terror

realizing the cliff
the water below.

Anne Graue writes poetry and teaches online from her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Her poems have appeared in Compass Rose, Sixfold Journal, VerseWrights, and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly. She is a reviewer for