May/June 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 3 Nature’s NatureMay 1, 2019 |

In My Forty-Seventh Year

Me walking downcast. Him dangling ankle-level above a forest path with no branches overhead. I glance to the canopy, a good thirty feet up. Thirty feet. No overhang closer. Let’s pause for scale —  the caterpillar, half-inch long, and his silk just a glint when wind sends it swinging as if someone has, with an X-Acto knife, cut a vector into the air. And above him, a gulf of nothing. What human has scaled such height, has been such a fantastically attenuated pendulum? So I stop to watch the shudder inside him. Is he consuming it or balling the tether between rows of legs, skeining it? Whatever he’s doing, he’s clearly — and at a remarkable rate —  rising: the curl and lengthening of his body steadying him higher and higher, so that as I watch he floats from my ankles to my knees to my waist, and in short order we are eye to eye. It’s then I think of fear. At my ankles, it was nothing, the fall. Even now, to me, not much. But soon he will rise higher, to a h

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Me walking downcast. Him dangling ankle-level above a forest path with no branches overhead. I glance to the canopy, a good thirty feet up. Thirty feet. No overhang closer. Let’s […]

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Me walking downcast. Him dangling ankle-level above a forest path with no branches overhead. I glance to the canopy, a good thirty feet up. Thirty feet. No overhang closer. Let’s […]

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