Oliver de la Paz

Fidelito Takes Flight Up a Ladder

A blur of upwardness that is climbing. The flat board pressed to palm,
pressed to foot sole. It becomes motion­-slurred arrival, which
makes: first step, second step. The ladder stretches like an awkward
of hello, of departure.
The boy, trusting only what he feels by hand, begins to forget the
With his right foot on the first rung, he hears the sky call his name.
the left meets the right, he hears birdcall. Then the right to the
the horizon moving on without him. Then the left, the last board
before the
fall. When the right and left are reconciled, Fidelito finds himself
unsteady, his legs paired as if bound. A pause. Nowhere left to go.
Meanwhile, in the blue above, larks explode like hours following hours.

Oliver de la Paz
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Oliver de la Paz
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2004, From the Fishouse