February 11, 2008
By John Bang, Pleasanton, CA

An insurmountable wall
Towering to the skies
I stare up with gall
The sun shining in my eyes

Between me and heaven lies this wall
Roadblock to my passions, my success
An obstacle over a hundred feet tall
What energy will drive me through this test?

One by one I start for the stars
Step by step, foot by foot
I will not stop until I make it to Mars
But gravity prefers I stay put.

I drive my spike into the stone
Pull myself toward the blue
Whether I will make it, unknown
I see the changing hue

Only a little further to the top
Where I will emerge victorious
And, resting after a short stop,
I will shout “glorious!”

Clinging, ascending
Back, legs, pushing, exerting
There seems to be no ending
To the expanse that keeps on hurting

Cuts, bruises amount on my hands
Sweat dripping down my forehead
Body does as mind demands
I look ahead

Only twenty feet to go
Breathing hard now
Movements become slow
Body aches and says, “ow”

At the top a hooded figure stands
I try to see a glimpse of his face
It seems like a mirage, seems like he has no hands
I slacken my pace

My hand is there
At the top, the peak
I can taste the cold air
And my body is weak

The figure walks, as if to help me
Instead he unravels my grip
And I fall not to be
To the ground below I dip

I won’t make it, I know
The wind whips underneath me
I can only stare at what is below
Above, it is the sun I see

But I touched the top, didn’t I?
If only for a second, victory was mine
With no regrets I will die
It will be fine, it will be fine

That is all I can ask for,
That it was me on the top of the wall
That I wasn’t guided by fear, nothing more
In the end, I stand tall

No regrets, no fears
Not while death is drawing near.

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