We awoke to a clear morning.
The thermometer read zero degrees.
No matter the temperature,
High or low,
The dog must go out.
I bundle myself in layers;
The dog seems oblivious to the cold.
Shoving snout in jaundiced snow,
She drops her trace of amber excrement,
While overhead a red bird sings:
Clear, lusty notes cut the frozen air.
Mesmerized, I pause to listen.
Momentarily, the dog ceases to strain.
Only the refrain sounds in our ears.
The red bird cannot know
That night will bring more cold and snow.
He sings for the morning only—no,
He sings for this moment only.
February 12, 2014