They Thought They Stood Higher

‘i’m scared, mom’

‘i’ll tell you a story…

‘she climbed
a different step
each day
as everyone
looked down’
on her’

‘but why
did they look down?’

they thought
they stood higher
and often
people think
that makes
them better…

‘but she would only
walk as fast and far
as she felt comfortable, you see
because it did not matter
what they thought
or if she even
reached the top

all that mattered
was her climbing
as their voices
and her fear
of them
sunk down.’

© Ben Ditmars 2022

Photograph by Kim Stapf