The James Hearst Digital Archive

Home » Poetry » End of a Landmark

End of a Landmark

Text of Poem

Power from a copper wire
pumped the water, the farm ignored
the windmill with its useless spinning
wheel. Tear it down, why keep
what’s not useful? (A fact of life.)
We took a second look (often changes
the view): climb a seventy-five-foot
tower, lower the wheel and gears,
loosen bolts rusted tight, bring
down section by section the heavy
angle iron legs and guy wires.
Not for us, we thrive on destruction
if it suits us, let’s drop the
whole shebang. We tied a hay rope
halfway up the tower, a tractor
on the other end. With a hacksaw
we cut two legs close to the ground
and pulled her over. Slowly the
other two legs bent, then out of
balance, heavy with its length,
it swooped down in an arc and hit
the ground, a bump, burst of dust,
clank of metal, that was all.
We stared cheated, all those plans and
preparation, and no grand finale for
history—we felt estranged from the
services for an old friend.

First Line
Power from a copper wire
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
The Complete Poems of James Hearst. Ed. Scott Cawelti. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001. 494.
Complete Poems
Word Count
Poetic Form