Shisa took me for a walk today.
I hadn’t planned a walk;
I had other, more productive ideas:
pull the weeds, spread the mulch.
Shisa doesn’t get that many walks anymore.
She has worn her arthritic hips out
with the many glorious walks she has taken
in her long and good life.
So when she started up the driveway
and looked back at me askance
(she would never go alone)
I had to follow.
Down the hill to the cul-de-sac,
sniffing this, peeing on that,
rolling in a neighbor’s new-cut grass.
Regular dog stuff.
Wonderful dogly delights.
She showed me where someone had
pushed the forest back on a vacant lot,
how you can see where the bank goes down to the creek,
where there are smells and sights she’d love to explore,
but it’s too steep, so she sniffs at the edges
and we go on our way.
She showed me where the car lives
that hit Calvin,
but we do not tarry long in front of that house.
She showed me the new brick-lined flowerbed
someone has just put around their mailbox
to keep the mail truck from killing the grass there.
She showed me that I can pull that hill now
better than I could when we first moved here,
seven springs ago.
She showed me how good our new black fence will look
when it is finished when you come up that hill.
She seems to like that fence.
Not for long, I suspect.
She showed me that the opportunity for a nice walk
on a beautiful June morning
before the heat sets in
is a foolish thing to waste
and that the weeds will still need pulling
tomorrow when maybe her hips
won’t even let her think about a walk.
I can hear my sister asking, “Did you take Shisa for a walk today?”
Shisa took me.