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


there are sites to be seen

fears to conquer

trails to hike and

just, because

A Footfall Question

come walk with me

on the dunes

could you,

would you dare?

no stroll here

for fainthearted

I am chockfull of resolve

in nearly every weather

bursting with conviction

I toe barely any lines

this excursion a mission

exercise in self-determination

each climb scaled

a peak in confidence

every descent a milestone

I hope you will accompany me

I’d love the company

though my pace

may not proclaim it

I keep on charging onward

while feet slow, sink-sliding

scaling sandy heights

silent crowing on each crown

short of breath

and stubborn-striding

I never pause for long

you may wish to reconsider

if you join me on this trek

my quest may be misguided

or leave us both a wreck

windswept dogged footfalls

falter, stagger on

persistence swells undaunted

in search of hard-fought shores

I am fierce, goal-driven

or are my demons driving

this hardscrabble pursuit

the grit between my teeth

rubbing among my toes

echoes that of spirit

surviving deep travails

I would imagine

you slow, skeptical

of the wisdom of this journey

I can’t blame you

in the least, as I

don’t know how to saunter, yet

I would love your company

if you would walk with me