The Ladder by Terry Ofner I stand the ladder in the soft soil of the perennial bed, climb up like a thief of nests, and pull a perfect egg of twigs, leaves, and seeds from the mouth of the plugged downspout. I lean to the left to steady the ladder that lists slightly to the right under my weight. I feel like a child canceling differences between parents somewhere off the emotional balance sheet. I perch up there a minute after pulling the plug and watch the giddy water laugh down the aluminum passage to the side yard. It musters there with other waters, planning invasions of low places in the neighborhood. I leave the ladder in the bed—a creaky apparatus, no substitute for wings—but for certain jobs it does just fine. Irises at its feet speak in purple tongues, toasting each other for their part in releasing the long-stopped waters of spring. Bio: Terry Ofner grew up in Iowa not far from the Mississippi River. He ho
Flying Island is the Online Literary Journal of the Indiana Writers Center, accepting submissions from Midwest residents and those with significant ties to the Midwest.