Winter Dog Time
it is below zero I must walk.
third day of the new year fell on
like Dorothy’s house. Whether it killed the wicked witch of 2010
remains to be discovered.
All numb except wild eyes set in a tar baby wired to a post.
January feels this way:
month of chrysalis and ice crystals.
into the Snow Queen’s deep north blue eyes and dying there: a glass
body splayed on dry powder snowy expanse.
and dark as the pole star is bright.
old black dog lies motionless in a pile of brown leaves.
have seen him there many times before.
Belly on the earth, his only chance to heal.
Part spaniel, part shepard,
shag rug. He becomes part of the pile of leaves, part of the snow
patches, as silent as the line of trees that border his sagging house.
many times have I thought, he is dead.
Poor thing. And
then the next day he is back, faintly breathing, passionate in his
stillness, agog in sleep as if sleeping for the wintering earth
walk carefully so as not to slip on the ice.
The small, tidy houses of
look hermetically sealed, still as frozen toys, dreaming of spring
antics and colored socks.
winter dog lies as a frigid vision over the town which sleeps without
knowing it, awakens into further dreaming.
after carefully prepared step I precede further into the stilled world
of the dreaming dog.
know that by the time I reach
I will be in full immersion—in winter dog time.
Knowing without knowing, I know.
My ears loping toward every faint sound, my nose inhaling the
palette of the bluish peach morning, stiff-legged, uncollared,
prevailing toward someone perhaps calling my name as the cold settles
further into the earth and the morning seems to stop time itself.
heap of dog has not moved. Somehow
I know he still breathes. I
see the mountain now, indigo, watching, the only being awake in this