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Old Main Friends University In The Sun

By John I. Blair

This hall by any reasoned standard
Should not work --
A gaudy wedding cake,
Bizarre conglomeration
With weird bulges on the corners,
Its soaring spire
Like something from The Haunting,
Stark against the aching Kansas sky,
Massive entrance steps piled up
That leave you gasping at the top,
An outline like a cross between a courthouse
And cathedral.

Ridiculous; and yet . . .

Looming high across the flats
Of mundane westside Wichita
Like a massive brick and stone mirage
Glowing red and silver in the sunshine,
It takes my breath away.
These pioneers dreamed large,
Went broke on dream construction;
And the dream survived them,
Here now a hundred years and more,
Still spiking toward the clouds,
Still educating men and women,
Towering several kinds of tall.

2010 John I. Blair


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