Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Walks with My Dog

On a cold bright pre-Christmas morning

the sun is irresistible.

It draws us, we walk toward it as though into it,

although it blinds us white.

A luminous milk-spill running along the sidewalk.

It entices her: she stops and sniffs at a spot of bright,

as though she could lick it up or dig herself into it.

It skips along a bare branch, she thinks she sees a squirrel,

and she yells and leaps, but it’s only the light,

the truth and the illusion.

At bedtime our walks

feel somehow less cold,

as though the darkness protects us like a wrap.

The city street is quiet as a country cornfield,

only a lighted window here or there

offering a sense of comfort in the life it holds behind it.

We are strangers in an old tale,

wandering through a wood,

hoping to come on a candle in a cottage window.

A friendly hand, a meal, a warm bed.

She and I move faster at night; there are no squirrels to distract her;

only the occasional stop to sniff at a bare patch of ground.

A subliminal hum in the air

only seems to deepen the silence. Maybe traffic on a distant road

or generators from the school building

or a transformer on an electric pole.

A blue light far in the distance, a lighted wreath hanging on a fence.

The traffic signal blinks, red, red, red.

A silhouette walks around a corner; the dog goes alert

and gives a little whine. An interloper on our serenity.

The world is deep at this hour.

We turn back for home, at peace with the night and the season.

[[All images from MorgueFile]]


  1. "At bedtime our walks

    feel somehow less cold,

    as though the darkness protects us like a wrap.

    Love that!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I enjoyed visiting your blog.

  2. I can't imagine a life without a furry friend. Lovely warmth in your poem.

    1. Thanks so much. Our pets do add so much to life, don't they? Not the least of which is getting me out to walk on a winter night!

  3. Beautiful Elaine - love the "truth and illusion" aspect. So much of what I relate to in writing follows that theme and here you've wrapped it into such a lovely poem. Seems like you find a real sense of peace during these walks as well.

    1. Thanks, Amy. That's also a favorite theme of mine. And yes, I do feel very peaceful on these walks. It's a nice way to end the day.

  4. I love the peace I feel when taking winter walks. Although my dog is too old to really take out on these sorts of walks anymore-- I do enjoy when I used to be able to do this. I love the essence of that feeling you captured here! Cheers, Jenn!

    1. Thank you, Jenn. I've never been a lover of winter, but I've been finding new beauty in it with the necessity of getting out of the house a few times a day with the dog. It can really be a beautiful season, even without snow. Thanks for reading.