Poem: Jumping the Ropes

Jumping the Ropes

The door was shut. A rope barred the way.
“There’s no sign.” I said.
She sighed. She knew where this was going.
She has been here before.

Of course, I went in. Up the narrow stairs,
a little rickety, almost dangerous.
I could understand the rope.

But I am well versed on old stairs.
There is a secret to them
I learned as a teenager creeping in
well past curfew. You walk the side
where the treads rest on the supports.
It is stronger there, and less likely to creak.

It worked perfectly
and I was in the balcony,
the servant’s space in the 19th-century church,
ironically above the masters
with a better view.
I wonder sometimes if the owners
ever walked up the stairs.
to know what they were missing.

I took my pictures, and imagined Sundays.
The pipe organ. The characters from the village
in their finery. Me, then, as I am now,
ordinary in every way. Happy just to be here,
perhaps a little happier than I should be
for jumping the ropes and being
where I did not belong.

About this poem

It’s a bad habit of mine that I don’t apologize for. (which is likely a worse habit.), going into spaces I do not belong, simply to see and capture them. This was a 19th-century church in a Farm Museum in NY State.

Tom

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