Steps

Grace Schulman
"And down and down and down,"
the toddler's mother sings 
as he clears every ledge.

Midway we cross their path.
In rain, the museum's steps 
loom like the Giant's Stairway

to Guardi's Ducal Palace. 
"And up and up and up" 
is what I do not say

as you stagger for balance. 
Once I'd scaled that summit, 
hunted over the crowd,

and saw you below, holding 
two hot dogs and white roses;
you vaulted, took the steps

two at a time, then three, 
and leaped to where we met. 
Your smile is broader now.

You see more. On this day 
of wavering, we hear 
a Triton blow the horn

where Giotto's Magi open
hands that rise in air:
up, and up, and up.

Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 2002 by Grace Schulman. All rights reserved.

Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 2002 by Grace Schulman. All rights reserved.

Grace Schulman

by this poet

poem
Rain hazes a street cart's green umbrella
but not its apples, heaped in paper cartons,
dry under cling film. The apple man,

who shirrs his mouth as though eating tart fruit,
exhibits four like racehorses at auction:
Blacktwig, Holland, Crimson King, Salome.

I tried one and its cold grain jolted memory:
a hill