The public ignored
them, but they persevered,
capturing fancies of aspiring ladderites:
as an ornament,
existed for art’s sake and
children to employ
toy workers who fixed the roofs
The Lider, wide as it was long,
leaned against a structure’s
The Laddessional depicted stark images
of loss, sadness, and love on
challenged builders with possibilities.
The Laddatina, thirty-nine rungs, possessed
six different colors in various
The Laddallest breached the highest
tower to reach the Ladder Muse.
workshops were the rage.
taught brilliant students
to apply craft,
stylize, and photograph
their work for
countless Internet journals.
Those with nagging
egos strived for accolades
from gurus who
awarded monetary prizes.
networked with fellow ladderites
humped from climbing ladders,
Acolytes, journeymen, and masters
built them for the tallest tower,
where Emily, their
muse, golden hair braided
into a ladder
flowing out the window they tried
admonished from an endowed chair,
before I knock off the tops of your heads!
wonder if you’ll ever build anything worthy
me if you don’t shed ambition and greed!
without protégés or mentors
continued to build
and store them in garages,
they labored as farriers, waiters,
clerks. They built
unique artifacts in shops
houses, and listened to echoes
of Emily’s voice
singing ideas to them.
David Spicer has published
poems in Santa Clara Review, Synaeresis, Chiron Review, Remington Review,
unbroken, Third Wednesday, Yellow Mama, The Bookends Review, The
American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Nominated
for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart once, he is author of one
full-length poetry collection, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke's Press)
and six chapbooks, the latest of which is Tribe of Two (Seven
CirclePress), released in September 2019. He lives in Memphis.