Stringer’s Ridge Pastoral, December 2015


On a warmer-than-imagined
December Sunday afternoon,
I watch the sun etch itself
through the trees.

Half-remembering midwestern
winter, I shout “mush” as the
dogs, pulled each a different
way by sounds and smells, kick
up leaves and dirt and God-knows-what.

We look up over the ridge to the sky
above the city. A cold front promises
snow. I laugh at the way we both exaggerate.

The sun will just allow for the soft mist
that will barely dampen the dogs’ fur
as they hunt fox, cougar, hipster-hiker-trailrunner.

They stop before I do, but I listen longer,
pulled up the hill, a step at a time
Gravel and mud trudging through a forest’s deep memory.


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