Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Late Years Nine

Sunrise at Jordan Lake Dam through fog, 
photo by Ellen Tinsley, DVM.


The Late Years Nine December 30, 2018

The clock ticks steadily in a quiet house.
No bird calls for the hours. My heart
also ticks in quiet but regular rhythm.
I don’t see my doctor again for three
more months. Some mornings when I
drive at dawn to the dam and the lake
beyond, I can barely see through the 
fog. Only me, my dog, and my truck’s
headlights to guide me. My dog waits
quietly, expectant. When I turn, she
knows we’re nearly there, and she nuzzles
into my side to be let out. I have to turn
off the headlights, put on the brake,
undo my seatbelt, loosen the leash,
often tangled in her feet, and then we
stand down, ready to walk in cold,
in fog, in sun, even in rain some days,
when I get out my white umbrella.
The sun will be behind dark clouds,
slowly turning pink. Then the clouds
in the northwest turn pink, and the water. 
A steak of orange light on the southeast 
horizon. Birds high and determined.
Even eagles, though, at their height,
I can’t tell. The fog dissipates, more
birds fly over–gulls, I think. Maybe 
those are wild ducks. I do recognize 
the heron, with its slow, steady wing 
flaps. And once, up close, I saw a 

fully mature American bald eagle.

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