The First Climb

The first thing to learn is to fall.
And fall again. Resist the temptation
To break it with still-soft hands,
With twistable wrists or twig arms,
Fragile as untested vows.

The second thing to learn is rest:
Let one hand go. Arm straight,
Your bones will hold you. Hang heavy
As a sack of apples. Your other arm
Loose with slack and sway. Shake it out
Like a bad dream if you need.

Watch the Alphas, like tai chi masters,
Carve their path across the wall.
It isn’t always about strength.
It isn’t always about length of limb.
Sometimes the smaller body
Fits just right. Sometimes the meek
Are better at planning ahead.

When you get to the crux,
Breathe deep. Some problems
Have more than one solution. Try
Shifting your weight. Try
Using the wall. Try
Leaning in. Try
Switching feet. Try
Letting something go. Try
Trusting yourself for a change. Try again
To do the thing you could not do
Before. Try to remember
That you know
How to fall.

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