The Landing

falling-man

Falling is an odd one.
For some it’s the very idea of freedom.
Synonymous with flying,
soaring
and reaching towards plateaus undiscovered.
It can be a gentle glide
or the laboured climb of eagles
in a storm
fighting for their lives
a thousand feet high. But when the gales clear
life blooms
under the new sun and a great,
warm peace might flood your heart.

Falling also means failing.
It’s the declined extension request
or the anniversary party
for the oldies,
out of town,
when you’re covering that shift.
You fell when the mud,
thick, and gloopy
left you stranded for hours
on that backroad
taking the short way home.

Whatever it means to fall
only one thing,
inescapable,
is constant:
the landing.
Your feet might kiss the sand
softly, a warming embrace
or maybe it’s your wrist,
then knees,
then that fresh ice cream cone
when you clip the kerb.

If you’re lucky,
they’ll put you back on your feet.
If you’re truly lucky,
you won’t need that help.
You’ll shrug,
mourn the ice cream
and move on, smiling before long.
For some that final trip
is too much. They don’t get up.
It’s no longer about trying.
Not about will
or refusal
but cold, honest,  can’t.

I stand here,
gazing down at the city where I’ve fallen.
Where I’ve stumbled,
tripped,
scraped knees
and opened old wounds.
The wind rushes through my hair.
I close my eyes and hope,
sincerely
and truly,
that no one tries to help me up.
That they’ll let me lie,
broken,
where I chose to be,
where the help was never offered
living.

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