July 26th, 2016



by Christopher Walsh, 7/16/2016-7/26/2016

There's a window. There's part of the roof below it.
Slanted just slightly: enough for care, not enough to be dangerous.
Solid and strong, because hey, it's a roof.
There, then. Leg over the sill, foot on the shingles
(holding onto the frame: balance!)
And the other leg. Done.
Here's a view birds and squirrels get.
Ten or more feet above yard, sidewalk, and road
And a quick trip to that yard, sidewalk or road if not careful
As gravity gets a little more room to pull you.
Respect that, and you earn that view.
Stand with legs wide, or, even better, sit. Maybe lie down.
Enjoy the angle.
Closer to tree branches that maybe the local cats can reach.
Higher above fences and their patterns.
Some sights will be unexpected:
Farther houses (they're THAT close?)
Certain bugs closer to you than normal
Gutter leaves — wait, they're expected.
Maybe some sensations:
Residual heat from a day's worth of absorbing,
Sounds of walking and running inside and below,
A less obstructed breeze.

Make sure you look like you belong there.
Comfortably use this part of your house.
Don't look stuck.
Don't be stuck.
It can be liberating, being Up —
With your sight wider
As your home still cradles you.
This is just a different way.

© Christopher Walsh, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Summer Me


Yes, I have.

When my family lived in a house in Oakton, VA from 1987 to 1994, I lived on the top floor and had a bedroom window overlooking the backyard and the deck. A lattice-like framework was over the deck: not completely covering it, but strong enough to walk on, and that framework connected to lower parts of the roof. There's at least one picture of me sitting out there reading a paperback.

I liked getting up there; sometimes I did it at night. There was one night when I probably shouldn't have done that, though it worked out; while I was on the roof, I saw a helicopter circling, spotlight going past our neighborhood and the greenbelt areas and small lakes near it. Turned out the police were searching for an on-the-run suspect. What if they'd thought I was the suspect? I've seen films and shows like this. Me ducking back into the house then, heh, could've looked bad. I just stayed out there until well after the helicopter had moved on. That was my only brush with drama from sitting on a roof.

Two weekends ago while on a walk, I happened to see a couple of kids sitting on a house roof, just outside of the window they'd passed through and looking down on a SE Portland street. I liked seeing that and thought "I'll write about that." Thus, this.