Sunday, June 5, 2011


Imagined, or real: a snow-packed fort of dim tunnels and openings, intestines into the sides of the snow drift we dug.  The patience of recess, the dig for lore a twelve-year old is surprised by.  We dug, and dug, The Miracle of Antarctica at St. Andrew’s, February breathing its dark geography into our little half-lives.  We dug, dug, dug until one of us became trapped, soft snow collapsing around the dream.  The kid’s name?  Lost in the chalk.  The cartography of this dark day: the bend of the gray of a tunnel comer, the quiet, quiet, quiet despair, a kid disappeared.  


Somewhere it’s May.  A fort for the back yard is bought at a hardware store.  Rough hands poring over virgin decrees: slot A into slot B, plastic bags filled with content, finished by dusk.  Boys sit in the cedar-chip fort with regulation window and nail-and-glue glumly reading of exotic tribes blinded by destiny, as the small, action-figure Cowboys and Indians in the Mattel Apache Fort lean in the air-conditioned hush of the dark basement, discarded, blue, gray, red, depending on politics, tool-and-dye, depending on history.  This fort closed with a snap-latch and was portable: the-past-in-motion from suburban house to yard and back again.  Manufactured warriors, molded drama.


A small boy peers into a fort pieced of twig and leaf, a continent of the day it takes the blackbird to move back and forth across the lawn. Later this fort will leave itself, turn, curl in the sorrow the boy might learn, later, reading some book.

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