I Shattered Like Glass

Moving ever closer to the edge,
I try to peek; get a glimpse, you know;
I need to see how far it is
to the bottom; to calculate how far I’d fall
If I were to fall at all.

Just curious, that’s all, nothing more.
No harm in knowing the risk.
I’ve been living life close to the brink for decades,
Yet I’m still here. What harm will come if I were to
Continue rollicking near the edge?

“This time you’ll be dead if you fall,”
said a voice from behind.
“There will be no more chances this time.”
I didn’t believe it; I never heeded the many warnings
No matter from whom they came.

“I’m going to live forever,” I told the voice.
(But I was beginning to grasp the true price tag
constant reckless behavior brings);
What an insane and daring undertaking my life has been!
It’s as if I’ve been tempting Almighty God.

I started shaking my fist at the heavens. “Go on, then,
Take me if you’re going to, but be quick about it.”
(I don’t like pain.) It doesn’t matter what you do with me.”
I was done with this miserable little life of mine;
All aspiration was gone.

As I stood there, toes dangling over the edge,
A mighty wind began to push from behind,
urging, insisting, demanding, physically shoving me,
“Wait!” I insisted, but my feet slipped, and I fell.
I shattered like glass when I hit bottom.

©2016 Steven Barto

4 Replies to “I Shattered Like Glass”

  1. Tosha,

    I was thinking of Humpty Dumpty when I wrote this piece. He could not be put back together. I have chosen to stop dancing close to the edge of the abyss, risking what I believe would be a fatal fall. This poem has a nightmarish quality to it because when I fall into the abyss I shatter like glass. It represents for me the last consequence active alcoholics can suffer. Death.

    Like

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