For his seventh birthday, the parents
gave him a jungle-themed birthday party.
Zebras, lions, and rhinos romped around
with elephants and monkeys.
But he chose the toucan mask.
An hour later, they found him squatting
in the tallest tree in the backyard.
“How did he get up there?” mother asked.
“It’s just a phase,” father suggested.
It’s been months.
He only comes down for earthworms
and slices of cake. He doesn’t do his
chores anymore but has built a rather
splendid little nest.
The neighbors complain of late night
video game flashes and sounds
coming from the tree. The parents
don’t know what will happen when
winter begins to approach, but father
is still insisting it’s a phase.
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His poems have appeared at Origami Poetry and Gargouille, among other places.