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Glory Days

It rises 140 feet above ground,
jutting upward like an awkward mushroom
painted white, its tank boasting our little
town's proud name - Greenfield.

And there really are green fields here, too.
Corn and soybeans, mostly,
rotated to help preserve the soil.

Corn depletes, soybeans replenish.

The water tower stands high on its hill
like a watchman, guarding the crops, buildings, and houses,
policing the streets leading in and out of town.

Flocks of teenagers have tried to climb to the top,
but I know of no one who made it all the way.
Simon Griswald once fell off and broke his leg.
He was the high school quarterback.

No state title that year.

Now they've put a fence around the base of the tower.
It's been yanked down several times,
twice just last month.

I think someone may reach the top soon.

They'll hurl their gut a time or two on the way up,
and when they reach the tank, they'll heave themselves
over the guard railing, nearly loosing their grip,
probably hurling again.

Then they'll pull themselves upright and gaze out, beyond it all.
Baseball diamonds, side streets,
barns, churches, and houses like mine.
Corn and soybeans - green fields far and wide.

I can imagine the view, but I'd never climb that tower.
It's for those who have no sense of terror, no fear of anything
that doesn't keep them flat on the earth, stable and sound.
They'll feel the victory, but then, who will understand their glory?

Only the water tower will know.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


Awesome write L! Love this and the visit to your town. I can imagine the view from my keyboard - so well done!


Michael Anthony

Thank you for your kind comments! I'm so glad you enjoyed this!

author comment

Hello dear Lavender
this is so vivid with imagery. Unfortunately, I never saw soybean fields before, but you make the scene possible for everyone. The described water tank is another story. We have one where I live, but never imagine anyone to have the guts to climb it up.
I can speak volumes about the imagery in this piece and never give it it's justice.
This is beautifully weaved to capture a special place, I wonder if it's where you've recently moved.
Anyway I have really enjoyed and appreciate sharing it dear.
Thank you for your generosity.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words ........Robert Frost☺

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I actually had in mind a blend of several small towns in my home state - any of them could fit this description, including where I just recently moved. I was driving through the country and saw the water tower off in the distance. It just fell into a poem. Thank you for all your encouragement! I means a great deal to me!

author comment

that there are still places out there, like this place. My sisters and brother's-in-law have lived in some of those places, raising children and working in small towns. Yes, that is where we come from. You make it so easy to visit those places by your vision. Thanks~ Geez.

There is value to commenting and critique, tell us how you feel about our work.
This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place.

Yes, I agree! Places like this do still exist - but it seems fewer all the time. My recent move to a small town includes a nearby train, and neighborhood church bells ringing a couple times each day. With my broken foot still mending, I can't walk around as much as I want, so I sit on the courthouse steps and watch people walking in and out of the antique shops. It's a pretty diverse place, characters and all. The water tower is off the main thoroughfare on the outskirts of town.
Thank you for reading!

author comment

Wonderfully written. Thank you for the trip back home!
All my best, Will

I'm glad this took you back "home!"
Thank you for reading!

author comment
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