Let’s all take a vote on whether or not
we should have left that rock unturned.
There was no forewarning at all –
just that blinding light and the feeling
of a strong summer sun on the face.
And then Elisa walked over – her legs
slicing through the humidity like razors
and arms swinging in line and then out,
saying picnics should end on a high note,
not the strangest of suspended chords.
We Should Have Left the Rock Unturned
My brother is building a boat
in his backyard – planing wood
at all hours, checking his plans.
I look at the curving frame, squinting –
“It’s a boat,” he says. “It’s not finished.”
He’d never built anything, let alone a boat.
I put together a model rocket once.
I suggest mounting a landing pad
on his roof, maybe a ball turret
sticking out of the family room
wall – better yet, something with
sharpened bamboo sticks. Something
useful, yet a conversation piece.
“The frame is Douglas fir, teak
marine plywood skin for now.
Maybe epoxy-glass the outside.
She’ll run a good 500 feet off
in sheltered waters. Notching
the chine would be a waste. Right?”
We used to pretend my grandparent’s
bed was a raft and try not to fall
into the teeming sea of shag carpeting.
This was dangerous business here.
We’d need to speak in accents.
“Why are you building a boat?”
He’d always wanted to be a teacher
because he enjoyed wearing ties
and talking about General Patton,
but here we are, on his deck with
pretzels and a Scots dictionary.
He tilts his head. “In case, I guess.”
I nod, kneel, pick up a handful
of curled shavings.
There is nothing there
yet I will spend all day
looking and being surprised
that there is nothing there.
but I do and I always will
even if this is not the most
healthy of occupations.
Eventually I will see it
and it will not be what I
expected and I will end
in the kind of heartbreak
that you will never know.
You Can Only See Nothing So Often
|*John Findura lives in northern New Jersey.
Read his blog.