Sample Poems by Henry
Raised in a Tightrope Walking
Family You'd Think I'd Know a Little...
something [about falling] you
get an unobstructed view
something [about faith] my feet on my father's shoulders
[about rules] when they say don't look down they mean it
something [about performing] I'm just an
something [about crowds] they're just eyes looking up
something [about music] never
listen to drum roll
something [about distance] the further you go the smaller you get
[about slipping] you'll know it even before you know it
something [about time] there's no going back
even going backwards
something [about balance] holding my sister's earnest hands
[about gravity] it's a two way street
something [about disappointment] missing my mother's
something [about magic] it never quite escapes the laws of nature
letting go] there's never enough net
something [about mass] only the weightless never
something [about going down] it doesn't last forever
St. Ike of the
The street in front of my house woke up. It put on its
slacks and walked out onto the interstate to join Ike who was throwing down asphalt like a West Point
trained abstract expressionist. This was falling in love just inches off the ground at 65 mph. Eisenhower
afternoons. Under the all-observing sky. With the road reaching out to stores. The stores becoming
shopping strips and strips turning into strip malls and malls into super malls; men into supermen with
superwomen in chrome fired rocket ships solid like Ike himself maybe raising a glass with the Rat Pack
maybe going to separate beds with Dick and Laura Petrie or laughing like the studio audience at the
Price is Right and expanding with joy as we teach the world our song in a high-octane chorus line along a
wobbly equator in the slow after-glow of Hiroshima with the sun setting in earnest behind the final cities
of the west.
East of Manhattan
Janey and I sat
rocks near a dock
of blackened wood.
Across the water
Rikers Island drained
last of the 4:30 light.
My mouth was wet with
a winter kiss. I licked
hands in my pocket.
Her pale chest breathing
beneath her pink ski jacket.
Mine was gone.
"Don't treat me like some
little hoowah," said Jane
scorn that made
her mouth like that of a mouse.
Some cold came off the water.
sun was gone. Nothing
but a rusty slash growing dark
over the airport.
We left through a hole
in the shadows.