The Giant Slide
Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn't been used
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters
of laughter. Call it a passing fancy,
this slide that nobody slides down now.
Those screams have all gone east
on a wind that will never stop blowing
down from the Rockies and over the plains,
where things catch on for a little while,
bright leaves in a fence, and then are gone.
'The Giant Slide' from One World at a Time (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985), © Ted Kooser 1985, used by permission of the author and the publisher. All rights are controlled by the University of Pitsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, www.pitt.edu/press/.