Walking the Dog

by Brendan Strong

Plodding through soggy, chill air
A slow walk back from the motorway bridge
The smell of standing turf smoke, sharp and pungent
Against the scent of Cold

It is quiet, but for the hum of motors motoring home below us
And the tap-tap-tap – step. As I swing my leg: tap-tap-tap – step.

Walking the dog, she strains the lead, sniffing ahead.

She smells what I see:
A collage of leaves: bright yellow, bright orange:
Damp, mulching underfoot.
Tinted by streelight, moon-illuminated, glistening.

In places, flooding the path. A carpet bouquet.

She goes into the hedge-bank with her nose,
Into the dark, rustling and sniffing,
Droplets of water on damp smelling leaves, that smell of green,
Her arse sticking out from nowhere.

What is she looking for? We should be going home.

But I am staring at that verdent sheen
On the stems and the leaves that she breathes.

We should be home. But still, we are here.