In a still-quiet house, I open my eyes and wish
for one thing: a wrought iron staircase.
And if I shut them tight it appears beside my nightstand,
twines itself up, up, up around nothing in particular
like English ivy so old, so strong
the wall beyond it might crumble and leave it
in its filigree, lines, and attitude.
I think how it would be to slip out of bed and
mount those stairs, fingers trailing on the handrail,
until I step out onto a simple pine floor
under a pitched roof, walls so close I can touch them.
The grain of the planks, rough.
Their scent, fresh and warm as sunbeam.
I take a seat on the floor. I cross my legs and breathe
in a place to meet the day. A place to begin.
Alice Batt lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and two teenage sons. As assistant director of the University Writing Center at UT Austin, she has the pleasure of working with writers every day. She was on the founding editorial board of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and her poems have appeared in Esprit, Endless Mountains Review, Healing Woman, and a variety of newsletters and chapbooks.