by Jennie Meyer
The white-wash of snow holds the leaking sun a little longer this evening,
so I dare take our small dog up past the Great Ledge,
through the pine forest, and back along the rim of “Witches Wood,”
named long ago by our children for its impassible ruin of dead trunks.
I plan to keep him from straying from my side,
to return home before the coyotes wake and swallow
their two-day hunger in the post-blizzard swath.
Suddenly Leo stops and settles deep into his senses,
stares down over the pin-point tips of cat o’ nine tails,
draws in a knowing for which I have no language.
Low, lithe, like a fox, but shadow-dark, not rust,
a creature threads silently along the edge of the old farm,
an elusive thought.
Brown fox or yearling coyote—the difference,
were it closer to us, between attack or flight
or some bargained stand off.
I took the risk to walk Leo at dusk,
to sink my boots through long-shadowed drifts,
to listen as up-ended heaps of frozen sea slip
from marsh grass back into the receding surge,
to marry, have kids, navigate the ridge
between safety and loss, pack down a daily path,
part scanning for threats, corralling,
part watching from the roots of my senses. §
Jennie Meyer, M.Div., is a poet, yogi, and meditation instructor. Her poetry has appeared in Common Ground Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, and Patchwork Journal. Jennie lives in Gloucester, MA with her husband and three children.