All the Dead Pat Their Glands When We Fall Down

The boy who towed fishing boat to campsite
through waist-deep water

studied astronomy but became a teacher
at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Harlem.

One morning he found a rat
dead a few feet from the school’s front steps.

He continues to lack the company
of sympathetic chess partners.

Tonight I have the dream where I tie the tow rope
to the branch of a tree I climb, rope tied to wrist.

I will climb the tree again when I need to climb.

Matthew Henriksen (© 2008)