Just, Because

the cliff face is sheer

not in the sexy negligee way

but in the holy crap I might die

way, and the ladder trembles

because it is old and unsteady

and has been exposed to the elements

and years (how many??) of wear

and wind and sun, and not

just because my frame

vibrates as I cling, petrified

yet somehow moving one foot

determined, concentrated, tortuously

slow, down

rung by rung

and it holds and I’m not dead

or falling, bouncing across the rock face

so I move the next foot

leaden yet beset with tremors

until it finds purchase on a greyed

perch, here in midair, terrified.

there is no breath, yet a heart

hammering fast as hummingbird wings.

the wind pries at my balance

as it eddies, mocking me and my

acrophobia. finally there is rock

awaiting quivering soles, and I

scamper, blindered and winded

to a ledge approximately level.

I grin with panicky relief

having beaten back a demon

as I clamber toward the next

because

there are sites to be seen

fears to conquer

trails to hike and

just, because