9th Nov 12
She’s first, the only one
who’s never climbed before, not fluent
in the language of the climb, stumbling
over words she needs to understand
ascent. What still voice whispers
Choose this handhold, place your foot here
as the cliff rises sheer above her?
The sun glints off the rock face like a knife’s edge.
Unfazed, she changes feet, grips hard
with two small hands. Below,
the man with the belay rope
looks calmly on; it creaks and slips in the piton
as she steps up and up towards the top,
turns to wave then leans away from safety,
bracing steady feet against the cliff. Anchored
to the rock face, she abseils down to meet us.
Mum, Dad, that was so cool!
You looked so small!
How will we, left holding clothes
she’ll soon outgrow, adjust our step
to this new child?