The day before my second race in Chile, I had the opportunity to take a walk further up Hector Calvo Joffre (the street I was living on for the week) and check out the house of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and diplomat. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature and is considered by some to be the Hemingway of Chile. Being a Spanish minor in college, I studied Neruda’s works a great deal and was excited to learn more about his life and influences for his works. In college, I was programmed to churn out essays/poems/papers on a daily basis and since graduation, have rarely had a chance to write. However, something about the setting of Neruda's museum inspired me to write. So, I went to a nearby coffee shop and wrote this poem, my first in quite awhile… I’m no Shakespeare, but I hope you enjoy!
The Stairs by Amanda Hahn
Walking up the stairs of life,
Sometimes tension so thick you could cut through it with a knife.
The first few steps take gracefully,
Sit back, observe the world, just be.
Learning how to stand so tall,
You must keep your balance and fly, not fall.
Now you’re off and there’s no looking back,
No one behind you to pick up the slack.
Teachers will remind you to keep a steady pace,
Life’s a marathon after all, not a sprint race.
The time will arrive when you reach the middle of the stairs,
And what once didn’t matter now represents your deepest cares.
A family, a job, a college degree,
All will fall into place in time…you’ll see.
There may be obstacles when you reach this part of the stairs,
Some will support you, others give you glares.
Another step taken, another moment stolen from the day,
You’ve been on this staircase so long you’re beginning to say…
That this journey isn’t worth it and you’re ready to throw in the towel,
Yet you grit your teeth and smile even though you want to scowl.
Figures from your past walk faster up the way,
Reminding you of where you started and where you are today.
The steps grow steeper, your mind weaker as you near the top,
Your legs grow tired and you wonder if this grind will ever stop.
Life has thrown its curves at you,
And you threw something back…need a clue?
Your faith has pushed you to the end,
And along the way you’ve stored up advice to lend.
You’re knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
But don’t forget where you started – the floor.
As you approach your final stride,
These few rules you must abide…
Once you crest the last step, step aside,
And make sure to salute the staircase, the journey, the ride.
The end :)