The Climber

by Monim Wains

I have watched him, the cherub, from the moment he cried. He opened his eyes and gaped at the sky. His penny-sized heart just fluttering by; pulsing for the clouds, woollen and white. He reached from his cot, with his fingers he stretched. In his eyes, I could see the stars reflect.

He dreamed of wonders full of life at night. Full of red-blue clouds and an Eden of sights. A ceiling of heights where he looked below. Dreaming the life he wanted to know. Reaching in sleeping and touching the sky. Green and blue and twilight ink; vast underneath his feet.

So he laboured, and won. Pushed, and climbed. Heavy hands, furrowed brow, heaving. At every landing, for a second, he turned. Took a single breath, a second, to see. Drew in with his lungs the cool dark air. No more than a second would he give, looking up at the sky with envy.

With that, he would start, new vigour in his strength. Foot by foot, step by step, lifting him. Till once more he would reach an intermediary ledge, and smile a little, drawing in his breath. At every stage even fewer had climbed, yet there he stood, still yearning the sky.

Till one day he stood mighty and high. The little cherub child that climbed the sky. And with the spark in his eye he looked up at the stars, and dreamed his dream once more. He dreamed with his fingers outstretched and rough. Nicked with years of struggle and scuff. Still dreaming of stars, the clouds, the sky. Still, he dreamed, of reaching so high.

But remember, my cherub, with your round sparkled eyes, how far those fingers have thus made you strive. Remember the dreams you dreamed as a child: of climbing the mountain and touching the sky. Now that you’re here, with the world at your feet, go ahead, look down, the world is your seat.

Always fantasy touching the sky but know how far you’ve already climbed.


The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford, written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff. New issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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