A Staircase Made of Mud

                                                 A Staircase Made of Mud              By Ralph Gagliardo

I fell,                                                                         

I slipped

             And fell

More than once,

                I fell




Into the abyss

               I lay




Onto the rocks

                and cried,



                 I had

                Not yet…

…reached the bottom, my family said, I had no bottom, and for a while there it


seemed like they were right                        I got up a little

                                    –because every time                           

                                                                                      I fell back down               again. And again…(and)

       then, I realized I still had the shovel.   The same old spade I used to dig this damn well with, in the first place.  So I picked up my little implement,   removing one small scoop of my life at a time, I…

       began to carve out a staircase…and you know something…?

                      It was that long narrow slippery staircase through the mud                                        

                                                                                              — that brought me back home.

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