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Framed by a Rainbow
by Ken Gierke

A thundering roar overwhelms the senses, and a refreshing mist on my face and arms brings relief from the heat of an August day. Niagara Falls is a wonder to behold, from the rapids leading to the edge, each crashing wave a character holding the briefest of poses for my camera, to the American Falls, that edge that tempts so many to know its height in their final moments, to the grand Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the Niagara River, best experienced from the Maid of the Mist as it pauses mid-river, drenching its passengers in a deluge of exhilaration that has no equal.

An afternoon could easily be spent here. The Observation Tower, like a bridge that seems to extend partway across the river, offers a view that includes the American Falls at its side and the Horseshoe Falls a half-mile upstream, taking its shape from a ninety-degree bend in the river. A walk across a bridge over the rapids takes me to Goat Island, which separates those two great falls, to the delight of Bridal Veil Falls at its near edge, separated from the American Falls by Luna Island, and then to a view of the horseshoe from Terrapin Point at its farthest edge.

Any visit, whether on a sunny or a gray day, could result in hundreds of photos. This beautiful day under blue skies is no exception, and the tourists recognize that. Some locals will avoid the Falls when those tourists number in the thousands, but I enjoy seeing the excitement on their faces. Some days, I take more photos of people taking photos of people. Niagara Falls offers so many reasons to return, again and again.

seagull on the wing
poised above the mighty falls
framed by a rainbow

PHOTO: Niagara Falls at sunset by Saptashaw Chakraborty, used by permission.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls that span the border between the province of Ontario, Canada, and the state of New York.

Framed by a Rainbow

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Before moving from Western New York to Missouri in 2012, I never tired of going to Niagara Falls, sometimes visiting several times a month to take photos. The Falls are beautiful from both sides of the border, and I always plan a visit there when I travel that way.  Hopefully, COVID-19 will be just a memory and the border will reopen before my next visit.

PHOTO:  Rainbow and gulls at the American Falls by Ken Gierke.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ken Gierke started writing poetry in his forties, but found new focus when he retired. It also gave him new perspectives, which come out in his poetry, primarily in free verse and haiku. He has been published at Vita Brevis, Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Amethyst Review, Eunoia Review, and his poem “Unwound” is featured in Pain & Renewal: A Poetry Anthology from Vita Brevis Press. His work can be found at his blog, where this poem first appeared.

PHOTO: The author and his wife during a recent visit to Niagara Falls, New York.