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Shadow Girl

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199 Steps to Heaven


They were my 199 steps to heaven
Grandad found them 199 steps of hell
Angina.
But still he always climbed
Never complained
As I think he knew,
He was climbing the 199 steps to heaven.

I can't even remember
When I first did climb
just always had.
I can remember
Counting
Did it really take 199 steps to heaven?
Some debate
That there are only 198
But they were my 199 steps to heaven.

But
Then I realized that
By counting the 199 steps to heaven
Meticulously
Religiously
I was missing the view on the way up
To heaven
And it didn't really matter if it was
198 or 199
They'd always be my 199 steps to heaven.

Then my eyes were opened and I saw
the view up was just as spectacular
As the view from heaven.
And I realized how much of it I'd missed;
Counting
So I stopped and
Just admired the view
On the way up
My 199 steps to heaven.

The view, like time stood still
Old tile roof tops,
Sprawling cliff faces
And the sea.
It was always the sea for me.
Whether in a rage or in a lull
I loved it unconditionally
The long straight pier
Jutting freely.
And all this I could see
From my 199 steps to heaven.

And sometimes we'd have to stop
Half way
For granddad to recover
Breath labored but still
Determined
To climb those 199 steps to heaven

And I'd wonder
Who?
How many?
Had climbed these 199 steps
Did they know they were climbing
My 199 steps to heaven?

The tourists, locals,
And in days long gone;
The coffin bearers.
All climbing my 199 steps to heaven
And, if you believe him
Mr Stoker
Claims
That the Count
Formed in a hound from hell
Climbed those
199 steps to heaven.

And when we'd finally reach the top
My world spread out before me
I'd weave between the gravestones
Thinking how lucky
These corpses were to be
Lying, eternally
There;
Their own piece of earth;
At the top of
My 199 steps to heaven.

And the north wind blew strong
And sang me a sweet sad song
As I gazed over my world
Cliffs, sea, a never ending horizon
Calling to me, welcoming me
Needing me as much as I needed
It
My 199 Steps to Heaven

And if you ever climb my 199 steps to heaven
Please throw my name off the edge,
Into the wind to blow it free
Forever
As I am separated by distance
heart breaking
soul aching
For my
199 steps to heaven.

Shadow Girl

Submitted: Monday, October 29, 2012
Edited: Monday, October 29, 2012

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