Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Stairway

Inspired by Les Escaliers de Montmartre, Paris

Landmarks by day
Beacons of light by night
always there
Like a quiet reassurance

A succession of stairs
Like so many rites of passage
Wrought iron, stately,
Victorian, cool to the touch.

Casting light at nightfall
Making the way clear
For those who stroll
By heat of day or cool of night.

A mist lingers
Kissing the metal
Leaving its whispery trace
Of dewy wetness behind.

The whispering wind whistles through
A crack in the lamppost glass
And branches crack and pop
As a slight breeze blows

A voice is calling
Faintly, in the distance
Someone heading to the top of the stairs
Stops to listen

But sees no one
It isn’t until the journey to the top
That the voice becomes more clear
And the trip is now complete

It is a voice he has heard
All along but knew not
the source from which it came
Yet it is clear

He glances back down
The lampposts are pointing the way
Even though it is daytime and they burn not
Yet he sees someone in the mist

It is her
He hasn’t seen her in real life
Only in dreams
Sometimes faceless

Yet very real
He always saw her
Always almost reaching her
To catch a glimpse of her face

And then the subway
Or bus in his dream
Would pull away
Leaving her once again faceless.

Then came an answer
His dog bolted
Ran down those steps like crazy
Headed straight for her dog

Two needy souls
Being walked by their dogs
On a misty morning
Up a flight of steps
By some stately lamp posts

By Phyllis Johnson

Copyright 2004 by Phyllis Johnson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.