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.
1:11 am.


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,
distant rain,
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.


  1. I hate when I am awakened by one of the dogs having to go outside! It is kinda nice to breathe in that night air and listen to silence! The quiet, of the night, is so much different than the quiet of day.

    We all do not realize that a memory does not have to be a special date, or a special time....a memory can be made out of an ordinary day, even at 1:11 AM!