Black Sweater

by John Riley

It's colder than hell out there.
If I decide to climb
the old oak
I better wear
my new black sweater.

You can see me there!
Big pillowy head held steady—
arms stretching up—
legs too short to climb
onto the next limb.

The children agree
my mind is finally gone.
Why, the wife pleads,
can she never have a moment's peace?
Beneath my feet the limb creaks.
I could stay up here all day.