On this dreary damp Chicago morning,
the wind as you wait for the commuter express
lodges a chill, creaking deep in your bones.
Close your eyes and lean against the signpost.
Wrap your arms around you and remember how it
felt: a child age thirteen and school is done!
Glorious golden summer rich with scent of
pine. And you build a treehouse on the forest floor
with walls of plywood, roof of woven string.
Interlaid maple leaves crisscross your sky.
So the shafts of sunlight fall in broken patterns,
onto pine needle and leaf mold carpet.
Spray-paint sky and clouds inside your fortress,
and mottled camouflage, wards against intruders,
Then rest, with popsicle, your labours done.
Mightier edifice was not constructed
since Cheop whipped his slaves to build the pyramids,
or king in India built his queen her tomb.
Squeal of tires brings you back from reverie,
and you clamber on, wondering if anything
you create will have such enduring grace.
October 15, 1992