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.
Copyright 2014 Carleton