By Clinton Van Inman

Just two of you I need to lend a hand

First to measure the rope from base to base

Then here along the wall from here to where

The rope is tied around the ceiling post.

Careful there because all must be exact.

The tale is always in the tape you know,

Just an inch or so an inch here or there

Even one and it would be a different story.

But we can rule that out because here

Is the can he must have stood upon

For he was seen here from time to time

Once it seems to look for work I’m told,

Must have known the garage to be a quiet place,

But still it doesn’t do a business good

For this sort of thing—everything is as it should

All looks typical enough and is in order.

One last entry and my work here is done.

Thank you for your help now cut him down.


I am a high school teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida.  I am 65 and a graduate of San Diego State University. I was born in Walton on Thames, England.  Recent publications include The Warwick Journal, Poetry Magazine, One of Four, Down in the Dirt, May, June, July, The Inquistion, The Journal, The New Writing, The Hudson Review, Essence, Forge, Houston Literary Review, Greensilk Journal, BlackCatPoems,, and the forthcoming issue of Grasslimb in August. Hopefully, these will be published in a future book called, “Caliban.”

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