Takes ingenuity to scout a tree —
to see the path strung through this knot, this crotch,
this branch — and confidence to hopscotch
up on flaking footholds. You guided me
from where you squatted high inside a key
of morning light, now pointing out a grip,
now cheering as I notched a sneakertip,
now (such a brother) hushing watchfully.
There was a scattershot of shingles as
I scrambled — all my focus on that tree —
then — clasp of wrists, companionship of knees —
you pulled me up from singlemindedness
into the lap of day — where I could see —
this was the thing you meant that I should seize.
Laura King apprenticed under sonnet masters Karen Swenson and Marie Ponsot in New York, where she also edited writing texts for Bedford/St. Martin’s. Now a freelance editor and writer, she is planning for a new adventure — law school — in the fall. This is her first published poem.