Where All Ladders Begin: A Poem on Fear, Endings, and Beginnings

If you’ve lived in a city long enough

You’ll sometimes come across sparrows

Splayed across the sidewalk

The place where all ladders start


The birds


Instinctually convinced

The windows in their path

Were immaterial

And not glass.


We are not wired to anticipate walls

And we are definitely not wired

To anticipate the walls that are invisible


Until we fly into them.


Silly birds

We think.


But a sparrow

Does not sing

With its wings


The pronouncement of here

The pronouncement of life

Comes not in the during

But in lamentations of the before
And songs of the yet to come


Sometimes injured birds are taken in

Healed with intent to let fly

The once-free bird

Finds home now



Permission to leave

Hanging heavy in the breeze


And how slowly the days go

When there are wings to sew

But how quickly indeed

When inching towards the precipice

Of release


We learn how to brace ourselves

Against the walls

But woefully little

About navigating what makes us feel small


Do not allow

Cessation of flight

To become

The refusal to


It is enough


That the stoic standing

In front of the open window


The fear

That it is actually glass

The fear

Of being stunned by what we think we see

The fear

Of breaking


Or ourselves


Cannot hold a candle

To the paralysis


That the window

May be open


Image courtesy of Rob Scumaci, Flickr Creative Commons.



One response to “Where All Ladders Begin: A Poem on Fear, Endings, and Beginnings

  1. Go get’em Sarah! Window’s open & you are going to soar! You are such a lovely poet. Love you!

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