A Late Walk

When you’re out on that final walk with the dog
later than you should be
at the tail end of dusk.

Drops begin to fall.

Sparse and then less so.

And you close your eyes for a moment
as that same dog leads you
with his regular series of hurried steps and pauses

and the smells and the sounds
of a thousand different times
and a thousand different places
greet you in one fell swoop

and you inhale

exhale

before you will your eyes to open
to the darkness that threatens to swallow you
and your memories

before it laughs
and turns to shadows
as the drops come faster still

and the beams of a streetlight wind their way around the corner
ahead of your feet
finding their way down the hill
dog-driven
to do the same
to find the source

and a small naked boy
exuberant
backlit and framed by a window
jumps and taps
and jumps and taps

and you inhale

exhale

moving over familiar uneven ground

and you are home.

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