dogs

The sun half-emerges from the clouds, like a chick too weak to break the shell. A small woman walks up the road, led by a large brown dog.

A cicada lies on its back on the porch, legs churning the air. I turn it over and the dog gives it a good, close reading with her nose.

A bindweed flower is open in the garden—a white blunderbuss pointed, like the dog’s inquisitive snout, at the foggy woods.

The dark green wall of the woods begins to vibrate—a shimmer of mizzle. The dog’s muzzle rotates, nose twitching. A cedar waxwing’s whistle.

Red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting: the primary colors of this morning’s diminished chorus. The dog twitches in her sleep.

Overcast and cool. The dog suddenly rises from her lethargy to dive off the porch and chase a groundhog back under the house.

The sun’s so bright, I don’t see the large black bear in the shadows at the woods’ edge until the dog points him out with a quivering nose.