Steps

"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.

by Grace Schulman

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