Synne Johnsson

Up The Ladder

How far can I climb
before I bump my head
on the glass?

How many of us
have to hit
it before it breaks?

Before the floor is covered
in splintered glass
instead of splintered dreams?

We climb
up the ladder
while they take the lift.

Blisters on our hands,
sweaty backs
and armpits.

Blood stains
from the ones who climbed
before us.

Looking up at a clear sky,
birds flying

Reaching for the sun
knowing we won’t ever
reach it.

We keep climbing.
Maybe this time
We can …

Synne Johnsson is a Norwegian writer and journalist living in London. She has previously been published in The Stinging Fly and Blue Pencils. She has a fascination for gothic literature such as Jane Eyre and Rebecca, but also admires writers like Frank O’Hara, Elena Ferrante and Françoise Sagan.