Climb

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My hands
grip
the rough branches.

My feet
scrape
along the bark.

I don’t look down.
I can’t
look down.
I must close my eyes
and just feel
because I have
to save
the view from the
top.

I climb,
climb,
climb,
wishing I could leave
at least
some
of my
life
down behind.
I don’t want
the bad parts
to follow
me up here.

I don’t want to
think
or breathe
until I get to the top.

Up here,
I don’t ever feel like
I am dirty,
or
bad,
or

stupid.

Even though
that’s what
all the other kids
tell me
I am.

I climb up this tree
so I can feel
farther away from them
and closer to
God.

And I wish it would
help
permanently,
but I always
have to climb

back
down.

I feel the branch
beneath my bare feet
bending under me.
It is thinner.
I can feel it.

I open my eyes.
I am at the top
where the sun is smiling
and the branches are small
and new
and the leaves shine.

And up here
I can’t see
the other kids
anywhere,
and I am happy.

The sky is blue,
with no clouds.

I spread my arms out
wide,
and point my face
towards the sun.
I look down.

I wish I could
jump
and fly away,
but instead I would just fall.
And falling is the only thing
worse
than
climbing
back
down.





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