And just like that, the mornings turn chilly and the dogs need hooded fleece-lined camouflage jackets.
The air here stinks with raunchy, hot freshness
in our high, dry forest of fir and pine.
For cumulus clouds we have mottled tufts
of shadow and our water would burn fast
into vapor if only we’d brought some.
The polychrome riot of lands where you dwelt
visits these hills in a lesser palette,
a high earthen rainbow of browns.
Here the freeze babies may jog forever,
Padding alongside their heavy-heeled men.
They give no thought to chill. No meals to finish here. The joggers sip thin wind.
Here once a year we make peace, the old lovers,
here, only now, mostly safe from each other.
A lion-dog in winter. My supremely beloved little Snoot was born 14 years ago today outside Cambridge, Mass., and I became his babysitter the very next day. Even after years of callous parenting mistakes–like the dinner party where I ignored his meek “Help me!” looks all night as mere attention-seeking when in fact he had a wine cork lodged in his teeth–he holds no grudges and wants little more than to be wherever I am.
Happy birthday, my darling. I do not deserve you.
Thank you, Nature, for paternal instincts. From a deep sleep, I was rocked awake by the certain knowledge that in nine seconds, Snoot would vomit yesterday’s grass cuttings onto my mattress.