THIS IS NOT A STEP

Every man who has fallen off a ladder has said to himself, it won’t happen to me.

So I take the next step up, the last one before THIS IS NOT A STEP. This is one of those 8-foot ladders, so now I am at 7.35 feet or thereabouts. From the eyeball perspective, it’s a long way down, concrete below. I am in pursuit of the Santa Rosa plums that seduce from on high. Dark, rich wine color. Darker than wine. Heading toward black.

Three are within arm’s length. The first I pick looks seconds away from dropping overripe, oozing where the stem joins the fruit. It is soft. It is juicy. It is so delicious that were I a fainting type I might faint, although the timing would be greatly inconvenient. The other two are merely sensational.

More more.

I move the ladder again and again, reaching higher, taking greater risks. I do tadasana on THIS IS NOT A STEP, a master of balance. I pull on a branch to bring the prize toward me that thus far eludes my fingertips. If this little branch tears from the limb, I will be propelled backward into space and the cast factory. This is really stupid, but there, I’ve got it. Well worth the risk.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

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3 responses to “THIS IS NOT A STEP

  1. At least you (or your narrator) didn’t try Vriksasana (Tree Pose) atop your ladder. I kept waiting for the moment you fell. Thankfully it never arrived. Now, will you be sharing the fruit of your labor?

  2. Oh, thank god for that ending!

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