We fall because it’s hard to climb

Originally published 07-12-19

I came across the title line for this poem in my old notes, and thought about how really, if you think about actual rock climbing, a lot of the effort is made before the climb even begins. Most people don’t make it to the top of the cliff because they don’t start climbing.

We fall because it’s hard to climb

Not many gather ropes and harnesses,
tools and chalk and carabiners,
Not many arrange with a buddy
to belay each others’ climb.

Not many leave the valley
and head to the mountains.
Not many make the time to go and
face a sheer rock face.

Few will reach up when tired
for the next slim handhold,
Few pull a belayed companion
who needs a little boost.

Few ascend a cliff face,
and few summit a mountain.
Few can turn and look and see
the world they’ve overcome.