Longlisted Poem 2011

Shona Jackson

Cardinal Newman College, Lancashire

On The Top Step

On the top step of the stairs
At the height of everything.
How wonderful it would be
To watch another life unfurl,
To see each petal grow and brown,
In a seamless fraying string
Of first steps and first loves
Shared beneath a sycamore,
Of loss and ache and quiet pain
Cursed at the bathroom floor.
And the realization
That all we have is to endure.

On the top step of the stairs
What was the height?
Did it lie in every simple kiss
Goodnight poised on pointed toes?
Or in the simplicity
Of silent understanding,
Of an arm reached around
To catch the pieces
When they fell,
Or in the power of letting go
When tears make heart shaped marks
Upon the carpet tread.

On the top step of the stairs
Sometimes height
Only takes you further
From everything that matters;
To feel the warmth of love,
To feel the cold of rain after a storm,
To know the blue print
Would do no good.
And living is not to sit and wait and watch,
But to touch and feel and laugh and cry.
No, living’s not too much.
© Shona Jackson

Project Details

  • Date January 30, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems