- Alan Ward
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.