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  • Alan Ward

The Jump

An apartment block is like a headstone hung on the

horizon. Samantha smells evening on the air as

the door handle takes her hand and tugs her

fingertips. The sound of school uniforms echoes

in the stairwell – she sees them and tastes their

smoky train. Samantha is climbing Jacob’s Ladder,

an apartment block. It’s like a hamster’s cage.

She strides the stairs as the ox ploughs the field. Dilly-

dallying, her mother would say. At the peak,

when the air hits, Samantha slips wings from her bag and

clasps them to her back. A raindrop stops to lick her cheek.

Jacob’s Ladder slips from beneath her feet.


This poem was first published in The Third Side of the Coin magazine.

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