the big oak tree down behind bobby nelson’s yard
was just right.
we dragged some boards
left from when they built his house
and some from my basement
down the hill to the bottom of the tree,
and we sawed some small ones for ladder steps
and nailed them to the trunk,
only eight feet up,
because then we could reach the first branch
and climb from one branch to the next one
until about twenty feet up
you reached a space
with the big branches spreading all around you
and big green leaves
and air like you couldn’t find down on earth.
we tied a rope around some more boards
and we pulled them up
and some hammers too,
and we used nails from our pockets
to fasten two two-by-fours across some branches
and we nailed a bunch of one-inch boards
across the top of them
to make our tree house floor,
but none for walls because we ran out,
besides, the leaves below us sort of hid the danger
of sitting on boards twenty feet up in the air with no walls
and we were never scared.
from up there I could see over bobby’s roof all the way to my house,
or I could shoot my bow and arrow at make believe bears on the ground,
or I could just drink lemonade and read comic books.