"Fear of Heights" for dVerse Poet's open link night

Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I've been pointed toward a very interesting and exciting link by Twitter user @crosescribe. Over at dVersepoets.com, they have what's called Open Link Nights where writers are encouraged to submit links to a piece of their work. Since this sounded like an incredible idea, I've decided to participate. Below, you'll find a piece which was published in the Summer 2011 issue of the Boston Literary Magazine entitled "Fear of Heights".

Fear of Heights
Dale R. Wilsey, Jr.

The sound of roofing nails
piercing tin. Finding the
skeleton of heavy
timbers beneath.

Strength in my father's
shoulder swings the hammer
in a perfect arc, driving
nails through in a single

It's 1986. I am 2 years old
on a tin roof in a cloth diaper
creating the earliest memory
I'll ever hold on to.

A sunny day carried on a cool breeze.

Playskool hammer in hand,
I mimic my father.

Imaginary nails are driven
through thin metal
beneath my
child strength.

My mother is still here.

They're still married.

That was 24 years ago.

Nails still hold fast
in the roof of the
crooked barn.

But everything else
fell apart from then on.

And today I have
a fear of


Thanks for stopping by and make sure to stop by dVersepoets.com to check out more great writing.

Comments (12)

dang...nice bit of story telling...the nails hold but everything else...shivers...and i was so getting into the mimicry of daddy...a tender moment followed by cold breeze...nice write...

Many thanks, Brian. Can't wait to share more during the open link nights.

Dale Wilsey Jr.

I wish that your poem didn't have to end the way it had. I was so wrapped up in the story of the father, son and mother watching on that I was hoping for a happier ending.

Sometimes stories don't end the way we wish them too. I spent years hoping for the same happy ending and never saw it come to pass.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my piece.


wow - love how you take us there...from the memories - could clearly see the roof scene - to another story where this world falls to pieces..very well done dale...may i say you nailed it...

This is a fine poem, due to its wealth of detail and the image of the child pounding nails-- and of course, how it is that things we strive to nail down sometimes fly apart-- xxxxj

The understatement here builds the strength of the images--well-chosen language enhances the sense of traveling back into a living memory. Last line sinks the hook well in--an illuminating journey into the psyche. Enjoyed it much, and glad you found the pub.

What a share! You had me up on that roof with you, and I have to ask...was the hammer bright orange? You have shared so very clearly those early moments, that your mention of it all falling apart...though I was waiting for it...still stole my breath. Wonderful writing!

Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I'm glad you enjoyed my piece.

A snippet in time that forever forged a memory...and a phobia. =)

Fantastic write! I really enjoyed it.

hahaahah..... yes, I would think that being on a barn roof at two would give at least your dad a scare..... much less give you a fear of heights! I sincerely hope it is not true, of course........ My wife would have first climbed the ladder to save the boy, and then she would have shot me. Or at least pull the ladder down to leave me stranded up there for days......

Quite a beautifully written poem... a memoir, a blink of your personal history. Very glad you found dVerse to link up to, cheers ~

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