“The Escalator” Napowrimo day #18

Somewhere light hides,
leaving horizontal
darkness beneath my feet;
eclipsing my equilibrium
in parallel paranoia.

My hand on its arm,
I seek descent’s balance
on this cold, unkind thing
that lives in this building.

Smiling faces surround me
of those unaware
of my angst and my
dread as we finally descend.

And alone in my room,
at least I can sleep,
yet my fear still resounds,
refusing to cease
of mechanical stairs,
sleeping, unmoving,
quiet beneath their glass dome.

Poets and Writers
April 17
Choose an everyday object (e.g. subway car, elevator, paper napkin, coffee, highway, grass) and investigate the anatomy of that object, real or imagined. What are the specific names for its parts, its origins, its functions, who it touches, how it moves or is moved? Use these terms to fuel the writing of a poem.


13 responses to ““The Escalator” Napowrimo day #18

  1. Hubby was caught between floors once. Had a friend get his tools, and he was actually able to save the door before emergency workers hacked at it.

    I remember some old ones in NYC that had operators that pulled the safety gate opened and closed and pressed all the buttons for you.

    Nice write to the prompt. Thanks for your visit.

    • On an elevator, Jules, I don’t have the same fear. But put me on an escalator going downward and I get heart palpitations.I am fine on the ascent, but not the descent.

  2. What a fantastic way of writing about the escalator. It’s as if it’s got character. The final lines are effectively creepy. Write on, Pamela!

  3. Thanks, Irene. It feels creepy, how the escalators are. Wanting to drag you down into nowhere.

  4. Cold and unkind…yes. If stairs are an option, I use them. Nice imagery in this piece, Pamela.

  5. Wow, I never viewed an escalator quite like this. But I can definitely echo the creepiness of escalators. I’m always worried about my shoelaces! Yikes!

  6. Shoelaces and all, I think.

  7. Escalators bother me for another reason. That first step can be a killer. I’m a slow old woman and can’t take the chance. Obviously I identified with your poem,


    • Elizabeth, I have never liked escalators since I was a child, and now my fear of the descent is much worse. In fact I abandoned my husband once and opted for the stairs. 🙂

  8. Fantastic to read a poem that shares my own problem! I pretty much have to let my hand on the moving arm drag me on to the damn thing.

  9. I will think of you the next time I’m on a set. This poem makes the escalator feel quite alive.


I appreciate all comments.

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