Friday, November 1, 2013

Storm Visit in Vermont

This miserable woods in this miserable rain, an insensate
ferocity imploding in on me like an ancient river
and pitching me onto a half-mile half-marked
trail toward the Indian camp my son was enlisted into
by my wife so he could go native and earthy, dirty
and wild, like a beaver, as the torrents of water tear
up the earth and I slog my way relentlessly over
the downed branches, through the vicious, liberated, and
bloated waters of Vermont, soaked to the skin, to pay him
a visit in a camp I would never have inflicted on him.
My intent is to make him into a self-sufficient man,
not a grizzly bear, and I curse the indifference of the
fallen limbs and the savage rivulets no wider than
a few feet but with the frenzy of a surf, and leaning
into the wind, the rain, the downed branches of the tress
cracking against my shins, the churning digestion of the woods
chewing away at my boots, my puny umbrella twisted into
a wire sculpture, the nylon flapping in the wind like the flag
of a retreating army. I yearn for the filthy bacteria, the rats
that breed under the subway tracks in the city I live in
that out-of-towners find so unforgivably disgusting.
The unrecognizable, unwanted seething of this
unnavigable path infuriates me, fights me back like Job
at the hand of God, but I'm not going to ask for
forgiveness, sacrifice an iota, render myself
self-accusatory in this aberration known as nature.
I refuse to accept it, nor will I interpret or
appreciate it, grovel. It has no beauty to me,
this lunatic savagery I can relate to less
than to a terrorist, who at least is a human, knows his
own death. There is no humanity here, just
violence, rage, an incomprehensible lunging that clearly
establishes me as expendable, as not even an entity, and
separates me from my son whom I'm determined
to see, and no vegetable enemy is going to keep me away.