Stairs

by Chris Matthews

Each sequence of creaks is the same.
When I was light enough to scamper
that sequence would slide through my chest –
an adult approaching. My book would
plunge to nothing,
and only my little clenched hands
reassure me of its existence.

This evening as I climb to my room, weary,
those same creaks sound,
and even though I know this to be my effect
that sequence glows and tumbles
to my chest.
Trembling, I falter, and realising my lost self,
am even more frightened than my younger being.