The Skyscraper, revisited
by Mary Margaret Dougherty


I saw it again today: the windmill we called
the Skyscraper. Not from the ranch house porch
where I used to sit in the evening pondering my day,
what was out there waiting for me,
but from the other side, from

the road in the next county. I went looking for that
windmill, knew where it was, knew the road that
would take me there. Every time I pass the road

I think about going to look at this windmill. On this
Saturday, longing and courage steered the car from
blacktop to caliche where I drove up and down just
looking at it and the ranch that was our home for

those generations—as far as the eye could see over
the green brush and gray cenizo-covered rolling hills.
I stopped my car more than once, opened the door and
took pictures, each time climbing higher

up on the car, trying to capture my homeland, never
satisfied that the photo was clear enough. Later, on the

computer screen, I saw the Skyscraper, brush, cenizo,
hills more clearly than I’d expected. There it stood: those
silver blades thrust up from mesquite and cenizo
touching clear blue South Texas sky.






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