The Forest

The Forest



When was the first time you saw the forest?

I was nine. A dense fog had descended on New England, where my family was spending an impromptu vacation, but we persevered, loaded up the car and drove out early to beat the crowds. Headlights slipped through the murk like phosphorescent eyes. My father hunched over the wheel, muttering more than usual. My mother had been gone for sixteen months. In the back seat, I held my little brother’s hand.

We parked near the coast and climbed the trail to a lighthouse on the cliffs.  

Television had not prepared me for the view. Fog boiled away into treetops without end. Green canopy unfolded all the way to the horizon. A bird cried out and was answered. Wind snickered through the leaves. In the distance, at the very limit of my vision, something huge began to move.

Justin Groot