Prairie Poetry   
  Climbing the Silo

My echo scrambled up the inside of the silo
like memories of summer days
pursuing my voice
through the opening into the sky.

The venerable ladder invited me,
rungs lead pipe won shinny
by boots and barefeet of boys,
ends buried deep in concrete hardened
in years I tried to forget and years I never knew.
The first few rungs are wider apart.
Higher, they are closer and easier.
The mason must have thought a child could not,
would not,
stretch the distance.

You began to climb quickly,
before I had fully contemplated
my history with the silo;
so I followed quickly, close,
hand on rung,
foot on rung,
hand again, foot again,
toward a circle of absolute blue.
The span between the rung and the years
grew shorter as the circle scribed
a larger portion of the sky until you,
climbing ahead of me,
stood waist to head above the rim.

I followed with the same lump in my throat,
buried deep, released again, remembering
barefoot white knuckled fear,
as I looked over the concrete edge
into a sea of fields
that I also had forgotten to remember.

  James Green
  Copyright © 2004 James Green
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