The Ladder

December 13, 2016

Bolted to the bedroom loft, twenty feet high with lacquered sides and honey colored risers polished with pine-scented wax-these are the rungs I climb to the feather bed, candle, and bottle of red wine...

 

Bolted to the bedroom loft, twenty feet

high with lacquered sides and honey colored

risers polished with pine-scented wax-

these are the rungs I climb to the feather

bed, candle, and bottle of red wine

arranged under an open skylight

where heaven circles overhead, and my

ambition fades like the flicker of stars-

medical student, resident, fellow,

associate professor, just small steps

on a long, imaginary ladder.

Tonight I can’t even recall the title

of the first paper I wrote, can’t recall

the names of my favorite students who are

beginning their own climbs. But here I am,

still alive, a bit dizzy from the height,

holding on tight, trying hard not to fall.