On Higher Ground


Two years ago today these stairs began to sway, and stopped my climb to higher ground.

Soon, groaning girders shocked me senseless, no longer sure of where I stood.

Instinct kicked in, and up I bounded two more floors, and underneath a builder’s table hung on tight to sturdy legs.
While helter-skelter went the floor from side to side and front to rear.

A white-knuckle ride no one would scream for.

On and on the tremors flowed, in shuddering waves that left me queasy and worried sick the floor would give, or walls might lean, in ways no architect had schemed or dreamed.

But stand it did, and when the noise and shaking stopped, I crept upstairs to find my friends with fallen books and anxious looks.

How strange to pick up broken glass and sweep the room of doom and gloom, as aftershocks came thick and fast.

The fallen clock a silent sentry to 2:46 on 3/11.

If only superman could turn back time or lend a hand to children waiting, cold and tearful, small and fearful, north-east of here, so close to safety.

Alas, a black wave found and took them.

It breaks my heart to think what stopped their climb to higher ground.