Issue Twenty-Four - Summer 2014

Stir Crazy

By Sarah Carleton

Eight days of rain and he’s climbing the door jambs,
bare feet and spine wedged against the molding,
clothing strewn below.
He inches up: Mommy, look at me!

Going out doesn’t help.
The grocery store makes him rage—
Ten aisles, 36 kinds of gum,
and the registers beep! Beep! Beep!

Day nine, we hike under a hot grey sky,
brushing against poison ivy and teenagers.
It’s the rainforest, a jungle full of spies.

We cross a stone wall that dams
green bottles, logs, stagnant algae,
sticks and crunched cans.
On the drop-down side it lets loose
a pounding muddy gush.

We edge past a guy with a nylon line
and a wiggly fish. Dodging bombs, we dash
around plastic bags, berry-bush prickles,
coffee-cup jackets and crane poop.

My son runs ahead. The path widens,
and the roar I thought was traffic
turns out to be the river—crashing rapid,
brown, smashing the edges off of boulders,
so deafening and angry it calms him.
He watches.

Copyright 2014 Carleton