The Power Line
It carries electricity across my grandpa’s property. In a wide swath it goes through cedars and firs and hemlock, dipping and rising over hills, a row of silver skeletons heading toward the Canadian border. The legs are braced with dozens of steel shafts, and the short, bent arms hold up the wires.
The wires perpetually hum, carrying voices and lights north and south, connecting the far parts of the earth. Hidden in long, twisted cables that drag low the lines between the great structures, the weight of that power pulls at the insulators. And it pulls us closer.
We grab the flat metal framework, warm from sunlight, and pull ourselves up on the lowest crossbars. The leaning legs are tall, and the supports aren’t close enough together to monkey-bar up; the heads of the bolts stick out on this side, but their knobs are too far apart for footholds. I stare up at mathematical shafts intersecting between me and the sun, T-ing and X-ing steadily upward. Bracing feet and arms against opposite angles, we inch slowly higher, the narrow shanks hard against back or shoulder or palm the only forces we can feel. The air seems still, but between the bars of this tower I can see trees moving at the edge of the woods.
One arm caught fast around the upright at my left, I hang powerless. I am on a web turned steel, perfect and grey, planned and purposeful, catching the light across this corner of Grandpa’s land.
I wrote this in Rhetoric class a few months ago.