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]]