No institution paved it
But enough feet trampled this path
That itís hard packed,
And few weeds dare encroach.
The path ends soon up ahead,
And my mind races in excited circles.
Colors seem brighter, they intrude on my sight.
I smell the rich earth, full of life,
Taste the decay that goes along with it.
I can hear ants stomping beneath my feet,
Scrapes as they drag grain after grain of sand to the surface.
The wind chills my hands
-Bloodied from my frantic climb-
And I welcome the sensation-
Proof I am alive.
The path ends-
The gale pushes at my back,
And I stop, think, HESITATE..
To firm my resolve, I look past the end of the road-
Over the cliff.
People scurry below, and for an instant
I loathe them-little bugs,
Crawling over the putrid ground.
But no, I was them. They are me.
Thatís why Iím here, on this edge, this precipice.
Can I do it? I look back.
There are some behind me, toiling up the hill.
Weariness and determination war
For dominance on their faces,
And I try to call back, "Take heart!"
But my own tired body wakes up and prevents me.
Instead I hear a hawk call out
-A fierce, happy keen,
And I jerk my head up to catch a glance.
I center my hungry, thirsting gaze on the soaring bird.
As he embraces the sun and stalks the clouds,
I regain my heart.
I dismiss those struggling after me,
If they havenít enough desire to come
Without encouragement, they should
Never get here anyway-
I step back,
And relish my footfalls as I dash
Toward the open sky.
How wonderful to feel your feet
Press down on the hard dirt!
And yet I leap, and the loss of sensation
As earth no longer caresses my feet
Shocks through me.
Now I spread my arms-
Wind whispers through my fingers,
Caresses them, nips at them,
Whips and tears at them, at me.
Who needs earth after all-the solidity of air is enough.
I close my eyes to shut out all
But its strength-how it howls,
Pushes and pummels.
Then I open them again to see
Horrified, distended faces turned up at me.
I call out in a desperate, silent scream,
Straining to be understood-
I didnít jump to splatter my body
On their world below-
I leapt in an attempt to fly.