Stepladder Nation

by Martha Vogel

I am orange and silver, standing like a pyramid.
I am reds, blacks, yellows, and whites.
Why are the darkest dyes at the broad base?

I am smooth side railings, rough rungs.
I am lives of many sizes, shapes, and ages.
How can one ignore the siren song of the next rung?

I am the quiet click of my center pieces locking.
I am the clattering collapse leaned too far left or right.
Why are the margins so nasty and noisy?

I am lingering vapors of paint and primer.
I am myriad smells, evidence of luxury and labor.
What can connect such a deep divide?

I am the taste of old garage dust.
I am the sweetness of hope, bitter bile of despair.
Are tears only to salt the tongue, dampen the face?

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This page contains a single entry by Department of English published on November 27, 2007 11:37 AM.

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