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Nor’easter

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 2, 2013
pp. 17-18 | 10.1353/ner.2013.0069

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

You return home to the house you grew up in,
to your parents’ house, having been away a long time,
longer than you meant to be, and you’re sorry about that.

Even though you don’t knock, you can recall
what it was like to go in without thinking
about knocking. All the same, the screen slaps shut

and the dogs rush the door, and your father calls for them
to quiet down. The two of you talk the way you always do,
standing in the kitchen. You notice how thin he’s gotten.

Upstairs in the closet, in the footlocker, the pressboard box
tucked against the back wall, there’s still
the reservist’s uniform, also the weather radio, the handgun,

and the rolled up sheaf of bills, just in case—
all the neatly packed unspoken things
that a boy turns over in his hands in the half-light

of a bedroom when nobody’s home, the things he knows
by weight and smell. Outside, an October storm is
coming across the lake. The rain line is advancing,

stippling the water and creating a new nearer horizon.
You can only see its progress when you close your eyes
for a while; then, when you open them, you can tell

that it has moved, that it is, in fact, getting closer.
Eventually, you won’t really be able to distinguish the island.
You might only make out the gray shape of it

in all the mounting gray, and the degree to which
the standing shadows of the trees list to one side
will tell you how bad it’s going to be when it arrives.

Somewhere down the shore a rope slaps against its flagpole
like a warning bell. So you close your eyes
again and count to ten, then twenty, and when you open them

the last touches of blue and white have gone out of the sky.
The rain line is closer now, and although it’s getting darker,
the storm won’t hold off until night, not as you’d hoped.

It will be here soon; you know this, because the wet wind
is holding you by the back of the neck, telling you it’s time
to light the oil lamps inside the dimming, familiar house.

Cody Heartz  

Cody Heartz grew up in New Hampshire. Currently, he lives in New South Wales, Australia, with his wife and their dog. “Nor’easter” is his first published poem. He’d like to thank his family, friends, and mentors for their support.

Copyright © 2013 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Cody Heartz. "Nor’easter." New England Review 34.2 (2013): 17-18. Project MUSE. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Heartz, C.(2013). Nor’easter. New England Review 34(2), 17-18. Middlebury College. Retrieved October 14, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Cody Heartz. "Nor’easter." New England Review 34, no. 2 (2013): 17-18. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed October 14, 2013).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Nor’easter
A1 - Cody Heartz
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 2
SP - 17
EP - 18
PY - 2013
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.2.heartz.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 2, 2013
ER -

...



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