The Emily Dickinson Revery Construction Guide by Robert Harlow

Before she invented the ladder
to the sky,

she first invented the sky
to have somewhere to go.

Then she pulled the ladder up
after her.

But she was kind enough
to leave a few clues behind—
here and there—

about how to
build a ladder

but without using wood,
or nails,

or hammers
to pound them in.

ladder reaching into evening sky
Move On Up #2 by Michael Pardo. CC license.

Robert Harlow resides in upstate N.Y. He is the author of Places Near and Far (Louisiana Literature, 2018). His poems appear in Poetry Northwest, RHINO Poetry, Cottonwood, The Midwest Quarterly, and in other journals. He is a professional stilt walker and teaches juggling, fire eating and other circus arts.

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