The Man on the Ladder

He took a ladder, climbing higher and higher,

Until he felt the wind in his hair.

He stretched out a hand to touch the sky,

But open his eyes he didn’t dare.

All he ever wanted was to feel the sun,

And to drink the morning rain.

All he ever wanted was to laugh at a joke

Until his ribs hurt all over again.

All he ever wanted was to hold someone’s hand,

And for someone to hold his at night.

He thought he’d be happy if he could just have a friend

Who would tell him it’d all be all right.

All he ever wanted is what everyone has,

And what everyone takes for granted.

He just wanted a moment to see the world head on

Instead of everything being too slanted.

We forget in our greed that not everyone else

Has the luxury of what we take as our right.

And what we have in our hands from the second we’re born

Is something for which others must fight.

He had seen his chance and he took it to heart,

Climbing this ladder so tall.

But because he’d never had, he’d never been taught:

The higher you go, the further you fall.

The harsh, bright sunlight burnt the tip of his nose,

And caused the skin to redden and peel.

But that didn’t hurt, not as much as it should,

He just loved knowing that he could feel.

It was the morning rain that betrayed him.

The morning rain that caused his mistake.

It coated the rungs, the ladder was slippery,

For he had taken more than he could take.

At the bottom of the ladder, he lay there, groaning,

And he didn’t want to stand.

This was what he got for wanting too much.

How could he understand?

But then a pair of feet stopped by his head.

He looked up and she was in sight.

She then knelt down and looked at him,

And said, “Are you all right?”

He didn’t know how to respond to that.

This had never happened before.

Because he was always asking too much,

People usually left him alone on the floor.

But she helped him up and they went for coffee

In an ugly cafe in the park.

They had just one coffee, but it lasted forever,

They didn’t notice even as it got dark.

“I’ve never had a friend before,” said he.

She laughed and said, “I’ve always been here.”

“I never saw you,” he whispered,

“But to me, nothing’s ever been clear.”

“All I’ve ever wanted is everything,” he said.

She replied, “That’s too much to boast.

“But I’ll be your friend to see if you’re all right,

“And that’s the one that matters the most.”


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