if you’re climbing out of yourself

Gate of Heaven from Magic i Made

Here’s a poem by the American poet Anne Sexton:

Riding the Elevator Into the Sky    by Anne Sexton (1975)

As the fireman said:

Don’t book a room over the fifth floor

in any hotel in New York.

They have ladders that will reach further

but no one will climb them.

As the New York Times said:

The elevator always seeks out

the floor of the fire

and automatically opens

and won’t shut.

These are the warnings

that you must forget

if you’re climbing out of yourself.

If you’re going to smash into the sky.

Many times I’ve gone past

the fifth floor,

cranking upward,

but only once

have I gone all the way up.

Sixtieth floor:

small plants and swans bending

into their grave.

Floor two hundred:

mountains with the patience of a cat,

silence wearing its sneakers.

Floor five hundred:

messages and letters centuries old,

birds to drink,

a kitchen of clouds.

Floor six thousand:

the stars,

skeletons on fire,

their arms singing.

And a key,

a very large key,

that opens something —

some useful door —

somewhere —

up there.

keyhole by Dave Beckwith

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/climbing/”>Climbing</a&gt;





Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

2 thoughts on “if you’re climbing out of yourself

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