I scribbled, I scratched, I scrambled;
sought toeholds in extended
metaphors, did average work
that was never enough to lift me
up the face of my chosen cliff.
So I’ve ended up clinging.
Do you see me up here?
I thought not. I’m tiny.
If I fall I won’t make much
of a splash. If I succeed
I’ll have to face the climb
down. Is there a trail
to follow after you get there?
Or do you jump and hope to float
back to the valley in one piece?
Once there you look around
for another nasty ascent.
Some peak worthy of both your fear
and your need to not only
live on the edge, but to keep so close to it
that you lose your sense of danger;
one day the most ridiculous
and simple reach fails you, and you
die in the middle of the big climb.
So they tell me, anyway. But now
I’m losing grip
and I’m suddenly aware
that the fall I thought
would surely slay is small.
I’ll surely live
if I hit the ground,
might not even break a bone.
I made this whole grand adventure up.
I’m caught at last between a rock
and a self-delusion. But I can’t let go. Not yet.