Forbidden Staircase


~One time I went with a dear friend when she had to go on her doctor visit. It was at a fancy little building of doctor’s offices in Bellevue. I excused myself, once she went in to her appointment, to find a restroom. I didn’t see one on my floor so I remembered there was one on the floor below. Afterwards I thought I’d just use the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. To my huge surprise, the heavy metal door of the stairwell locked behind me. In fact all the doors to every floor were locked. ‘What,’ I thought, ‘if there was a fire?’ When I finally pulled out my phone and called my friend; interrupting  her appointment so she could rescue me; I sat back sheepishly in the waiting room and wrote this… ~~~

Locked in a stairwell

A cement spiral world

Think of the silence in that useful chamber

Your footsteps make too much noise

Going down makes you wonder

If there isn’t a radioactive basement.

Going up makes you feel breathless

The levels are decks that no one will ever use

The grilled edges of each stair pronounce themselves

Finally you stop and cling to the door

Your voice is too loud yet no one is listening

But you think someone is watching you on a little security camera

Either they’re laughing or you’re about to be arrested

Somebody save me from this airy defeat

Before I hammer on the door

And admit to forever trying to use





  1. artistpath · April 14, 2016

    Chilling! Isn’t it amazing, the events and circumstances that compel us to write! Sorry you were locked in a staircase, but look what was released!


  2. sherijkennedyriverside · April 14, 2016

    I can relate to this. Even as a small child with the protective warm hand of my mom or dad around mine, I had such feelings and thoughts when they took me into the stairwell at the Sears or Penny’s department store. It was like going through the door into a creepy otherworld. And though we weren’t locked in, it always felt like we would never get out again.


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