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Ramping Up

By John I. Blair

Sturdy forty-somethings,
Newly proud and nervous
With our first purchased house,
Up concrete steps we clambered
To the narrow porch,
Its ugly Astroturf a souvenir
Of someone’s golf course contacts.

At fifty four with broken leg,
I teetered at the top,
Half-terrified to think
Of swinging stiffly down,
Balanced on my crutches,
Trusting in shaky skill,
Braced by your belief in me.

Sixty two left you wheelchair-borne,
Brought low by crunching joints
And other ills that flesh inherits.
We got a bargain on a ramp
That looked so much a gangplank
We joked about a bosun’s mate
Piping us aboard.

Fast approaching seventy
We find our ramp defining,
The only one along our street.
“Ours has the ramp” we say;
And after all, we’d earned that ramp.
In sweat and pain,
Fears and tears.

Now it’s a part of who we are,
Still captains of our fates,
Pilots of our argosy,
Steering toward a goal
We can’t quite see,
But confident in our course,
Finding comfort in companionship.

©2011 John I. Blair

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