A low fog lifts from the lake, catching
the bungalows on the opposite shore
dreaming like tree-houses. Mornings
here are so nearly the same, a breeze
scrolling to bright sun-wash, they’re
practically a brand of New Hampshire,
one featured in Classic New England
Vacations. Just yesterday, we thought
of boating. I enthused about canoes.
You proposed a powerboat with skis.
I forget your faith in the immediacy
of physical experience. After all, not
everything needs a poem to be felt
or remembered. Not everyone wears
irony like an anti-Girl Scout badge deep
into the woods as if it worked like DEET
on pant-legs, a postmodern perfume. Well,
I’m sorry I got hysterical when a mouse
appeared in the dishwasher, mus ex
machina, and that I attacked a breakfast
raisin with a flyswatter. So often, it seems
I miss or savage the point. In June, when
we took your kids to the amusement park
to celebrate their report cards, I rode all
seven roller-coasters to be a sport, albeit
one praying in dubious Latin to the patron
saint of chiropractors. I’ll admit that I was
fascinated by the “Ride Godzilla” operator’s
darkly inked tattoos, half-covered by the polo
shirt required in the park’s family atmosphere.
This morning, I’d like to keep the fog. Study
the shore rocks’ pockets for snails and storm
debris. If, as you said last night, you felt assured
of my happiness, your role in its unscheduled
maintenance, its slightly more than average
fortitude, we might make the ritual promises.
It would mean you’d often be in a speedboat,
chasing my canoe. And I’d ride a rollercoaster,
staring at sidelong tattoos. Any fog or flogged
mouse, any dreaming bungalow might do.
"Vacationary" first appeared in Waccamaw, No. 12, Fall 2013.