ladder-to-the-moon

If I could ask you, Ladies, please
by C. R. Resetarits

If I could ask you, Ladies, please, not to rappel from such harrowing heights.

I am trying to hide among the fiddling ferns and underbrush. I’m trying, really trying, not to watch but you have such lovely speaking voices, narrating your descents. I’m trying, really trying, to listen but not look, to stay fast in my deep deep green but you are there above, daring, so I look and listen and see you fly out against the flung, brutal bird’s egg blue —  the sort of bird’s egg blue speckled with soft brown spots. You fly out, ladies, your flimsy little ankle ropes invisible, you fling out across that sky of bird egg blue with the soft brown spots. When the sight of you becomes too much, I look away, but the brown spots come too, and I realize that they are not the mellow mottle brown of bird egg blues but fern brown that is fern spore brown, flung across my eyes, sent airborne in my haste to get a better view of you.

If I could, Ladies, please, reiterate. Would you not rappel from such ridiculous heights. My neck has acquired a bothersome kink from looking up. I believe this suggests a closer view, for the sake of my neck –- oh don’t, dear ladies, think it is only always just about you. Just a little farther up, on the other side of several boulders and trees, what do I see but a tiny waterfall –- perfect for refreshing my view –- and a gentle curve in the bough of a low, thwarted tree –- to support poor kinked me. At last I settle, sure that this time I will see the nets and wires and I will ferret out the fret behind your well-flung flingery.

IMAGE: “Ladder to the Moon” by Georgia O’Keeffe (1958).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem after the first meeting with my women’s writing group.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: C. R. Resetarits has new work featured in The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southwest Review, Cake, and Midwestern Gothic, and forthcoming in The Wisconsin Review and Stand. Her poetry collection, Brood, was published by Mongrel Empire Press, 2015. She lives in Faulkner-riddled Oxford, Mississippi.

PHOTO: The author in Dartmoor, Devon, UK (2016).