Title: Crystal Stair

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Joss and ME own all Buffy stuff. The poem "mother to Son" is by Langston Hughes.

Spoilers/Timeline: Season seven. Spoilers up until "Chosen".

Summary: Taking a break from her upcoming battle with the First, Buffy looks back on her life so far.

Author's Notes: I read the poem today, and I had to use it somehow. I love it. Oh, and I hope I spelled the name of Buffy's old school right. (crosses fingers)

Crystal Stair

            Buffy sat on the floor on her room, by the bed, sighing as she looked at all the boxes piled around her. She had definite moving-and-cleaning to do, to provide room for even more sleeping bags. She sighed. Those Potentials were becoming a potential storage problem. As if she didn't have enough to worry about with the first, and Caleb…

She unceremoniously yanked a box full of papers toward herself, picking up the first paper she saw. It was a paper from her freshman year of high school, at Hemery. From literature class. Everyone had had to copy a poem and analyze it. Unfortunately, Buffy had done much with the copying and much less with the analyzing. Still, she looked at the girlish handwriting, all the i's and j's dotted with hearts. "Mother To Son" the title read in the same bubbly handwriting as the rest of the poem.

            Her handwriting was different now. It was a sort of special blend, a unique cross between her mother's handwriting, Giles's, and, of course, her strictly Buffy style. It was older, more serious.

            She remembered copying that poem. She had picked up the first poetry book the library had to offer, opened up to page 28 (her lucky number at the time), and copied. Never read, just copied. Then, a chore, now, a welcome break from cleaning, Buffy thought, and read,

                        "Well, son, I'll tell you,

                        Life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

            Ain't that the truth, Buffy thought wryly, and continued on:

                        "It's had tacks in it,

                        And splinters,

                        And boards torn up,

                        And places with no carpet on the floor—



                        "But I'se been a-climbin' on,

                        And reachin' landin's,

                        And turnin' corners,

                        And sometimes goin' in the dark,

                        Where there ain't been no light."

            Mom. Tara. Angel. I miss you—

                        "So boy, don't you turn back."

            Dawn. I love you.

                        "Don't set you down on the steps,"

            Willow. I believe in you.

                        "'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.

                        Don't you fall now—"

            Xander. I trust you.

                        "For I'se still goin', honey,"

            Anya. Well, I don't hate you.

                        I'se still climbin',

            Giles. Thank you.

                        And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

            I can win.

Well, it changed from what I originally planned, but I like how it turned out. Yeah, kinda corny, kinda sappy, but oh well. I'm happy with it.