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Sometimes it’s a boardwalk that stretches for miles in the wrong direction

Sometimes it’s a metal slide on the playground that cuts up the backs of your legs

At no times, though

Is it a staircase


You cannot go up for so long without stumbling


And if you get too high

Your legs will start to tremble

There’s clouds below you but you know you’re not safe yet

And there’s no railing to hold onto

Because you’ve pushed them all away


The climb will take years either way

If you fall

Because you’ve gotten this far only by the strength in the roots of your hair

And the people sleeping in the next room


And the life that waits for you at the top 

Like white lights reflecting off a wedding band 

and watering plants in a home you’ve filled with love 

not the acrid smoke scent of childhood 


the air is so clear you can taste it so you climb one more stair 

Without looking down 

Because you can’t look down and you can’t look back 

So you move forward

but you know that even if you make it

you’ll dream of the long expanse of the staircase 

and the night you could have fallen

you’re moving towards a life of what ifs 


But it’s not a staircase because you’ve been on the same path for so long

8 years that feel like 80

nights spent sitting in a cold shower 

and drinking in a car in a 2 am parking lot

There are still bruises on your heart

and your skin

And Damn the people that think its easy

To climb or to move or to 


Professional Writing major who loves reading, fictional writing, and traveling! Can almost always be found spending time outside with her guinea pig, Calcifer.