The Ascension

A memory – riding up to the observation deck
of the St. Louis arch with my dad. This ridiculous
retro-futuristic pod that carried he and I and
two strangers all the way up. How he must have
folded up his six foot three body to fit inside
that space. His way of talking to strangers –
it would be natural, unaffected. It would be better
than I’ve ever learned to do. Up in the space
at the top of the arch, windows on both sides,
we felt the structure sway east and west,
giving a little each way in the high winds.
My younger brother had seen this and refused
the ascension. It didn’t worry me. I was safe.
My dad was there.

Steve Henn wrote Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year (Wolfson 2017) and two previous collections from NYQBooks. He’s been a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize and he read a poem as a special guest poet at Divedapper Festival 2018. He teaches high school in Warsaw, IN.

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