My Twelve-Step Program

As I grow older, going down

the basement stairs becomes

a challenge and a threat;

so I’ve devised my own solution

that I call my twelve-step program;

counting every step as I descend,

hand firmly on the handrail to my left.

It’s simple insurance against a fall.

I know the distance to the bottom,

just twelve steps.  As long as I take

twelve, there’ll be no quick descent

no dire surprise, or injury.

Ed Block

Ed Block is Emeritus Professor of English at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, where he taught courses on (among others) Denise Levertov and Czeslaw Milosz and workshops in creative writing. His interviews, essays, reviews and short stories have appeared in America, Image, Logos, U.S. Catholic, St. Anthony Messenger, and a variety of other journals. Over fifty of his poems have appeared in magazines and journals, and he has published three books of poems: Anno Domini (2016), Seasons of Change (2021), and Moments Strange (2022). Visit him at

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: