Preparation Montage

I imagine a film I would like to see

in which the Castle's not a dorm

but a jungle gym, with towers

made to climb and foam pads

to cushion your fall.

Where an ethnically-diverse group

of smiling students circle-sit in the sun,

discussing plans to reach new heights.

They brainstorm far-fetched toys,

grapple hooks, gecko gloves,

a jetpack, says one.

A jetpack? the others laugh.

There's no way you could

really hope to get that.

He laughs too, a bit embarrassed,

then tells them he was serious.

Quiet now.

They busy their hands to complete

the rope ladder that lies coiled

in the center of their circle

quite unlike a snake.

A single cord wraps

in and again on itself,

doubles back, crosses

and twists to form rungs

like a flattened DNA strand.

The sun sinks

into the deep western sky

and the students try to find

a way to hook their ladder

to the tower's top.

The first throw: no luck.

Second throw: no luck.

They whisper excitedly.

It's always the third one, they say.

Third throw: no luck.

One student climbs the tower

by hand. A foot on a windowsill,

another foot on a drainpipe,

hand on the top of a window,

foot on the overhang,

and he's up.

His friend throws him the ladder,

and he tries to hook it over

an ancient crenellation.

It won't fit,

so he anchors the rope against

his own body and supports

the first of his friends as she

climbs the ladder. It creaks

and the student holding it grunts,

but she reaches the top alright.

Now two help at the top, and

they both hold the ladder until

three, four, six all hold the ladder

up for their last friend.

As more pull at once, the task gets easier,

and they reach the rooftop

just in time to see the yellow moon

rise over distant Boston.