Thursday, December 29, 2011
My dog rattles his collar - an orange and green band on his furry little neck that jingles with a flat silver bone
and a rabies tag shaped like Illinois.
I glance at the clock. A red, digital glow beaming with three numbers.
I roll back the layer of blankets and slide out of bed-
my dog following closely like a four-legged shadow.
We walk together to the back door and I undo the chain lock to let him out.
There's a moon. Fuzzy and filtered in the cloudy winter sky-
but there's just enough glow to see my dog peeing in the flower bed-
A bed of dead geraniums and sleeping hostas
and solar lights that haven't come on in days.
Just a few months ago this spot was thick with green-
tossed with colored petals of petunias-
and flickering with the magic of fireflies...
I step out onto the deck-
the handrail still pierced with crooked staples that once held
thin crepe paper streamers on Halloween night.
I can almost smell the bonfire.
I wrap my arms tightly around myself- ignore my slipper-less feet-
breathe deeply the scent of damp winter grass,
and the neighbor's horses- stabled against the cold.
My dog takes his time.
Does a lengthy ritual of hiking his leg over every possible object.
I beg him to hurry- Come on-Let's go in- It's freezing out here.
He's ready to come in.
I lock the door behind us.
We walk back to the dark bedroom like a odd pair of zombies.
The clock informs me it's 1:18.
I hog the blankets-
pull them tightly around my neck and trap them under my feet.
I exaggerate a teeth-chattering chill-
then roll toward my husband to steal his warmth.
He is still asleep,
but he unconsciously puts his arm around me-
then continues snoring with a happy hum of dreams.
I love you, I say, kissing his forehead.
But he doesn't hear me.
It's 1:25 am.
And I just made a memory.