Why We Walk the Dogs
Yawning, you say you’re too tired
yet we can’t refuse
brown-eyed pleading at the door.
Away from these walls we more easily silence
sorrow, hardship, loss
by looking, only looking.
Cows in the lower pasture raise their heads as we pass.
A Baltimore oriole alights on a hickory fencepost
twined with yellow flowers. The sun stretches
generous arms of light cloud to cloud.
The old dog walks alongside,
as the puppy bounds through ditches
up hillsides, joyously muddy
collecting scents for his dreams.
When grief or fear catches in my throat
I remember to look at the sky
letting higher possibilities
hover over our steps.
Then through evening brightness
dozens of blue and green dragonflies
swoop around us in some unknown ritual.
We wonder which of nature’s perfect gestures—
migration, mating, defense—this may be.
Standing in the middle of our complicated lives,
we feel a lift of hope requiring no effort
and turn toward home, wide awake.
Laura Grace Weldon
published EarthSpeak Magazine