Judith Waller Carroll

Stairs Leading Nowhere

Stone, tangled with vines,
listing from one side to another
as they rise up the slope
much the way a body moves as it climbs
or the way your golden retriever,
the feathers of his tail swaying,
leads you to this hill
that once led to someone’s home
and now only goes as far
as what’s left of the gazebo,
half-blocked by boulders,
leaving you to imagine the rest:
a Georgian manor house,
a dreamy-eyed girl in the window seat,
a young man whistling
as he takes the steps two at a time.

Judith Waller Carroll’s poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on “The Writer’s Almanac,” published in numerous journals and anthologies, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.