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Drawing the Ladder

Jemma Borg


If I look, there is no surface, no hinge,
no bracket or screw, no line of aluminium,
no striation to secure the foot, rung
by rung, no place the ladder gains the earth,
no place the floating weight lands, no full part
that is not obscured by shadows falling
from the pepper tree or by old, caked mud.
Up to the thin leaves, up to the adornment
of red peppercorns, there has been a year
of standing and an offset climbing, angle
of ghost foot on ghost foot. As the storms
pass and the wind dies then rises, as the air
melts into an ancient insect busyness,
as the still nights of swallows and wine
ascend and decline, there has been this year
of slow non-decay, of infinite definition,
after which I come, with charcoal in hand,
and cannot make anything connect.



This Poem won first prize jointly with 'The Way of the Cross' in the Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition 2012. Jemma Borg has visited the Almassera Vella several times working with Mimi Khalvati


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