Ivana Cajina/Unsplash

Climbing Out

As we emerge from the pit, 

Covered in soot and scrapes, minds

Milled from exams and assignments, 

We’re adorned by the softly lit 

Skies of early summer. I find

Pairs with hands locked in engagement


Strolling the settled streets: 

Motions of closures or new beginnings – 

The most frightening form for me. 

Solitary I remain, eager to put this feat

Behind me. My time is done, grinning 

In certainty. Though freedom beckons gleefully,


Fear never fails to arrive, since

Completion empties more than fills – 

And man too detests a void. 

Turning to my plans to convince

Myself there’s a sure-way. Distil 

Life from its diversions. But I can’t avoid


That now I’m extracted from the site, 

Made to mine for my own gold 

Whether the period served or not. 

Oh, I recall, I recall the day (so warm and bright) 

I first arrived on campus, with openness untold

And the tolerance that discipline forgot.   


It feels just like yesterday. 

Yet falling for memory’s old trick

Is no trope of mine: overworked and caged, 

The light now is our due, I’d say. 

Here, we can build our own bricks

And mortar, free from the staged 


Assessments, able to succeed

And fail as we wish. Trials are truly ours. 

Though some have partners to share the strain, 

I’m untouched – willing to be the lone lead, 

Undertaking the challenge within my power

To start all over again.


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