This poem describes something that many of us have seen along the side of roads - abandoned amusement parks, entertainment centres and so on. Nebraska has some of these, Eastern Colorado is full of them.
The Giant Slide
Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn’t been used
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters
of laughter. Call it a passing fancy,
this slide that nobody slides down now.
Those screams have all gone east
on a wind that will never stop blowing
down from the Rockies and over the plains,
where things catch on for a little while,
bright leaves in a fence, and then are gone.
from One World at a Time (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985), © Ted Kooser 1985, used by permission of the author and the publisher. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Poetry Foundation recording made on 10 July 2007, Lincoln, Nebraska.