The danger isn't in the angle of the steps
even though they tilt madly
like a child's first crayoned letters.
The danger isn't in the altitude
for once you commit to the ascent
it is less frightening that turning back.
The danger is in the journey
shadowy figures lurking in alleys
swirling deserts with snakes and scorpions
oceans where you are vastly alone
measuring each cautious movement
or darting and diving to confound your fears
until one day you look under a stone
or pull a blackberry from the bush
or slide a knife along a whetstone
and there it is...
the path to the next place
right there in your hand, and so simple
fearfully perfect and enticing.
You only have a second to decide if you should
follow it, or set it down and let it disappear.