Magazine article The Nation

Lost in the Forest near Nacogdoches

Magazine article The Nation

Lost in the Forest near Nacogdoches

Article excerpt

LOST IN THE FOREST NEAR NACOGDOCHES

You're leading the way and I am sighing behind you. At each wrong turn the dogs patiently hesitate and I am sighing. So wait here and rest you say, in charge, as though you were a huntsman dressed in coarse brown cloth, as though you knew the way out and I am waiting, kept in a childhood tale of forest where this is routine and believable: the perilous path, repeated adversity. I wait, enclosed by courtly pines and silence, the dutiful dogs gone on, imprinted to your shape of the huntsman. Now all that moves is alive. Leaf by leaf stirs from its branch and issues language in its slow drift down and the wind collaborates to make a chorus, prompting. I have only to listen for the one correct word, the word most hidden and most familiar, as watery November sun asserts itself to light at my feet a highway of ants who know exactly where they are going. …

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