The Silo

In the country every summer
School is out the kids at play
Warning signs are on the silo
Danger! - please kids, stay away
Even though the signs go up
Many kids won't heed the call
Once a year or maybe more
In the silo kids will fall

Suffocated in the silage
It takes days to get them out
Lifeless, breathless, oh so young
Senseless death with out a doubt
Life is funny makes no sense
I was lucky all those years
I too climbed those country silos
Took a peek climbed down in fear

Growing up in Dairy Farm country in Sussex County, NJ, we would visit our friends The Salamone’s who had 400 cows that grazed along the full length of Lake Paulinskill. One of the first things I learned was how extremely dangerous a silo was. Silo’s might contain grain or other human edible food – but on a dairy farm – it usually contains “silage” – which is chopped up corn bits and pieces. I think the corn was specifically grown for silage as opposed to humans – if I remember correctly.

There were all of the normal ways kids could have accidents – and they did happen in the summer when kids would roam “cage free”. That was back in the 60’s – when kids had much freer rein than they do today. And yeah – it was dangerous.

The most tragic was reading about some poor kid who jumped into a silo and suffocated. This seemed to happen once a year – or every so many years, and I found it a particularly sad accident. I was the cautious kid – others were much more daring than I.

I decided to try to write more of a psalm than a dirge – and I think its the first time I’ve ever had 8 stanzas in a verse – sung fairly monotone like a psalm. But I remember how repetitive church music was – especially when a psalm was more like a chant.

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