A Journey Above


Nora Lafferty '23, Editor-in-Chief of Creative Writing

To meet her again,

There’s a tightrope I must walk, with patience and practice

I sway not to the side, careful to manage 

The weight I’ve been given, one of great obligation

The trek to the gates is treacherous

A staircase of slippery marble, with a destination named heaven

Guarded by angels made demons, with tests to be taken. 

Setting my jaw, my heart’s made of steel, I take the first step, prepared to appeal


The first demon I meet, her name is made known,

A radiant being takes my hand

and leads me up steps invisible to living man

She tells me her tale, one of great conquest

She asks me in turn, what have I accomplished?

A story bubbles on my tongue, begging to be told,

But I swallow the story and drop her hand

A journey with Pride I did not have planned


Replacing where the woman once stood, 

A glittering man with gems on his hood.
‘I can show you a world with all you desire,

A better offer you’re sure not to find, 

The loss of heaven is one you’re sure not to mind’

His hand is adorned with rings and with jewels,

It’s tempting to take it, and all that it promises,

But Greed is a thing that will never grant happiness. 


Up I continue, one step at a time, 

Met by an entity who remains undefined. 

Under my eyes, their form seems to shift,

Though unknown in identity, unmatched in beauty,

Their offer is tempting, one of great pleasure

They offer bliss abundant in measure. 

I consider Lust momentarily before shaking my head

There’s a place much better where I’d rather make my bed. 


Envy greets me next, with a smirk of brilliant red

She shares tales of discontentment that take root in my chest.

There’s no reason to trust her, or any words that she says,

But the tales are frightening, woven with vicious intent.

She tells me of heaven, the hell that it offers,

Saying something much sweeter waits for me below. 

Holding out her hand, she takes a step down. 

Though my eyes follow, my feet step away. 


Up I must continue, despite the temptations.

The devils I’ve met are far more convincing than planned, 

But the steel round my heart is yet to be penetrated. 

The man now before me hosts a great grin, 

And indulges in treats as free as can be.

He says all things good can be found down below,

But his tactics are weak compared to the ones I now know. 

Continue I do, up and beyond, leaving behind Gluttony as my destination begins to grow.


The air changes as the next devil steps forth,

Though his physical guise is one of mistrust. 

He frowns and stomps on his way down the stairs, grabbing my hand and dragging me with.

There’s a place far better, if I’d just follow him down

He ignores my struggle and terror and fright

Wrath is his name, this man of such power

He does not relent, not until I begin to cower. 

The weakness is pathetic, the opposite of rage


Dropped by the sixth, as though he’d been burned, 

I hurry back up the stairs I’ve traversed. 

The gates are close, I can practically feel it,

but the final demon is one I must not underestimate.

When I step up before him, he looks me up and down.

Before I can speak, he begins to frown.

‘You’re not worth the effort,’ he decides with a sigh. 

Sloth knows that if I were to surrender it would have been prior to the gates being nigh. 


They are tall and pearly once he leaves me alone, 

And I can’t grasp that what lies beyond is my new home. 

Footsteps sound, creaking and clicking, 

I wonder who’s met me, this time on the stairs. 

Seven sins, who’s tests I’ve successfully fared. 

When I turn this time, I meet the eyes of an angel,

A woman who’s too long been absent from my life, 

Is more than worth all my previous strife. 


To meet her again,

I walked a pristine little tightrope,

Avoiding the sin that occupies either side. 

I knew to reach the end is to meet her again

If there’s anywhere she’d be, it’d be up above,

Oh how I’ve missed my long lost love.