Ascending and Descending

Sara Smollett

October 1998

I climb

up and up and up and up
walking slowly savoring the height of the highest point and

down at where I
was before the climb where I will
be after the fall and
still I

climb higher and higher
what I thought the top is no
more and I go to

there is still further to fall
up and up and up falling up
nothing is below
to see

low still too low
running running upstairs
and stairs to reach
the top

out of breath and still
running even though I know
I will never reach above

up I go out of breath
I look above below is everything I
at top it seems
am low

I think of what I've
passed and past and future merge
as one I was

I am and go again
now I run and run down down
down steps and steps

over tumbling echos bellow
from below ring hollow too far
I don't want to

away into past future
repeats and feet frantic to escape
step on feet

in the stairs the other
way is progress progress made
but my prints are the same

if only I could go
back not to the bottom not top
level flat and

one who cannot
leave is trapped forever in this cycle
where forever is up
and down.