“They said he would gust to 160, flatten whole stands of spruce with his low tropical laugh, strew the harbour with dark rum and shingles”
By Anita Lahey
Our stores were rye bread and wild salmon in cans. Water and D batteries. We rolled the green bin into the cold dirt basement. Bought a bag of Dutch Crunch BBQ, a liter of Coke and a mickey of the hard stuff. With thick yellow rope in elegant knots we moored the house to the fields
of angelica. They said he would gust to 160, flatten whole stands of spruce with his low tropical laugh, strew the harbour with dark rum and shingles, swat like flies the tidy white trailers, swipe Louisbourg’s pretty light right off the point and dosey-doe the biggest ocean liner you ever saw before hitting landfall on the Rock.
Do your worst, we said. Whisk us off to Gander. We stood by the clothesline in our bathing suits. The first rains pelted the siding. The pines clattered, hang on! Cars crept down the shore to watch the ocean chew holes in the sky. Just when it seemed time he’d come for us he strolled up, sat on the step and kicked
off a sneaker. “What a godawful mess.” He spit on his thumb and scrubbed. We were bursting to remind him he was a hurricane— As the sneaker turned whiter, he started telling how last night, coming in from the Mira, his buddy put his leg through the one hole in the wharf. “The stench when he pulled that out!” I tried to stir him up, the way his buddy’d
bothered the mucky bottom. “Look now, you missed a spot.” He turned and turned the shoe. Finally, he whistled (barely a breeze). The rain went from sidelong to straight. We shrugged and brought him indoors. We all toweled off, and drank the hard stuff down. Not one stinking foot left the ground.
Image: Warren Faidley