A Ladder to the Floor


Photo by Joe Hepburn on Unsplash

It’s just a stepladder, three little steps. I climbed ladders far higher than that when I worked in construction. Francine is such a worrywart. She told me not to climb that little ladder.

“For crying out loud, Greg, you’re not thirty anymore. You’re not even forty. You just had your seventy-second birthday last month.”

“I know, Francine, but it’s only three steps. I’m not dead, yet.”

“That’s because you’re so careful.” Francine rolled her eyes and left the room.

I climbed the steps and reached for the can on the top shelf. As I strained to reach it, I felt myself losing my balance and the floor rising up to meet me.

Francine walked into the kitchen holding the phone to her ear. She was mid-conversation with 9–1–1.

“I knew he would climb the ladder, and I knew he would fall. I just need some EMTs to get him up and make sure he didn’t break anything. Thank you.”

As she walked to the front door, I saw her roll her eyes again.



Paula Dotson Frew

I love to write and self-published my first book of poetry last year, a book of Haiku this year, and a book of short stories later this year!