Everyday he climbs
white ladders of snow
to get higher and higher.
He half‐slips between daylight and dreams,
wonders if any swirl remains on his fingerprint
or if his god‐mark has faded
like a vending machine tattoo.
Just days before
he blocked his mother’s
slamming door with his foot.
He’d hoped for a hot shower
clean cotton sheets that had billowed on the breeze, maybe snatch
a cookie from the old owl jar,
but his father Abram rose
and pushed him back in the night.
Now, he stands outside himself
looking in mirrors of sun‐glassed eyes,
people walking by his lifeless body.
He’s splayed across Cathedral steps posture of the Pieta,
Jesus laying limp on Mary’s lap,
when all was done
and the angels watched.

—Sharon Frye

© 2015, poem and photograph, Sharon Frye, All rights reserved

One thought on “Jacob’s Ladder

  1. The imagery here is so strong, from the ladders of snow to the watching angels at the end. This is all the more powerful because in Jacob’s dream of the ladder, the angels go up, then down and Jacob wrestled with an angel when he crossed the river on his return home. So much sub-text carried through the images!


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