The Ladder I Won’t Climb
I had a dream that fit in the palm of my hand
That people carved for me, when people cared for me.
If you ask, seven years have passed, and here I stand
In a room where I wonder, how many before me
Have been doomed then let free, just to dance at this ball,
To twirl in their world but the fine hands of finance
Do not have enough fingers to hold me with all
My insecurities dressed as self-confidence.
The ceiling paint looks like one of the book covers
On your nightstand: it’s the story of a princess
Who fell into oblivion, who suffered a curse,
Stuck at the lowest of the ladder of success.
All the expectations you snuck in my cradle,
You knitted around me like a scratchy blanket,
A struggle of yours I mistook for my battle
Should’ve resurfaced but it remained deep anchored.
I had a dream that outgrew the palm of my hand.
Seven years later, I must be a deserter:
I took the weeds with their roots out of my homeland,
Loving your girl doesn’t mean that you deserved her.
One word took the other by the hand; so they went
Barefoot through a bare land but I didn’t follow.
I belong with the ones whose knees remain unbent
Where time is easy to find but hard to borrow.
I’m sorry about the ladder which must’ve hurt
Your back while you carried it for me to climb it
I won’t. I know people who’ve tried before, but
I heard there’s not even clear view at the summit.
To brush the outlines of worlds you dream you could hold
Isn’t worth spending a lifetime on your tiptoes;
One word took me by the arm which turned into gold,
Outlived the dream in my hand, or so I suppose.
Tamara Raidt is a 23-year-old student and writer. She started writing as a child and she has now published her first poetry collection My mind on a chalkboard.
© Variant Literature Inc 2021