When they asked her later, Madeline couldn’t really explain what was wrong.
Maybe it was the smell of wet pollen in the air,
or the cracked streetlight globe.
Maybe it was the blue glow of the television the night before,
or the words her mother had spoken to her on the phone,
worried and inspirational.
A walk around the neighborhood seemed like a perfectly rational idea.
Nobody was looking.
(She found out later she was wrong about that).
It was wet and the tree wanted to be climbed,
And the leaves that she plucked, numb-fingered –
they wanted to fall.