November 18, 2020

Article at

Childhood Adventure

From the 2017 edition of the Altadena Poetry Review, paperback

It is always more fun to do what I am told not to do, that's why I'm here in the basement climbing up Mt. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, stacks of dailies and Sundays my father stores in the cellar. They stand ten to twelve feet high, uneven enough for toeholds. Me and Edmund Hillary climb up the ink-stained summit. The weather is fine, the sherpas break camp when unseen disaster strikes: I slip scissor-legged like a wishbone, one leg in the abyss between the stacks, the other atop another pile. My left shoe, the culprit, dangles like a dripping icicle. I flash to my death in a dark hole between piles of Peanuts, recipes for Spam souffle', Hints from Heloise, never to be found again because I'm not supposed to be here in the first place. By sheer fear of what my mother will say, I hoist myself up to the top of the waiting stack, slide down to the hard safety of cool cement, run up the basement stairs which (of course) I'm not supposed to do when I trip, break my wrist just like mom said I would, and now have to write left-handed like THIS.