Ellis Paul


from The Speed of Trees

It was a summer night
I took off in my fathers car
I rolled the windows right on down
I cranked up the radio
And chased the meteors
Down a dirt road out of town

Theres a party out in Walkers field
By the firelight our dreams revealed
Turn your back upon your high school years
Shadows dancing wildly at the scene
But I never knew right then
Just what it means
To be eighteen
To be eighteen

The voice of Jimmy Aberdeen
Still washes over me
He had a laugh like a thunder cloud
He held a can of blue spray paint
Jimmy was no saint
But he knew how to draw a crowd

That night
We climbed the water tower in Walkers field
That night
Above the lights of town our fates were sealed
That night
Jimmy fell down through the darkness

An ambulance brought silence to the scene

And carried off the life
and broken dreams
of Jimmy Aberdeen

Now ten years have passed
The cabbie taps the glass
Were in front of
My high schools reunion hall
He leaves me to the night
I count the satellites
I see the tower
Looming tall

Im taking on my memory
I climbed the water tower, so the town could see

I painted steel
with cobalt blue
Spelling out
our graduation year
Above the highway
That took me out of here
And I finally think
I really know
Just what it means
To be eighteen
To be eighteen