January 16, 2013 § 3 Comments
Staircase at Tallulah Gorge
Kathleen Brewin Lewis
Hiking at Tallulah Falls one hot, humid August day with my son. We come across a man slumped and silent on the steep steps that lead hundreds of feet up from the floor of the gorge, his frightened face the color of the red clay trail. He is already being attended to by other hikers; the paramedics are preparing to carry him up the last third of the stairs to the ambulance. As I pass by him, as he leans into the throes of heart attack or heat stroke, he looks me in the eye and I can see that he is not much older than I am, hell, he may be the same age. Now I understand: I am not middle-aged anymore, I am two-thirds of the way up the staircase myself.
My son turns and looks at me questioningly. Just keep moving, I say in a low voice, they’re taking care of him. Just keep moving.
Kathleen Brewin Lewis is an Atlanta writer whose prose, poetry, and prose poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Weave, Boston Literary Magazine, The Prose-Poem Project, Town Creek Poetry, Deep South Magazine, Constellations, and Slice of Life. She is also an editor for the online literary journal, Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination.
Image: Eucalyptus, by Stephen Martin