Three short walks or maybe ten

(Originally published in TIMSHEL: an anthology of grief and joy, 2019)
 

Neighborhood walk

who let the dogs out?
rhetorical questions live
literally next door

golden retriever
bystander at lawn’s border
little dog jumps, bites

no blood evidence
flying dogs lie with their eyes
watery denial

big dog shuddering
jumper in Houdini smoke
owner barks what? what?

owners are people
who apologize or don’t
money will decide
 

Nature walk

pond reeds sway, flutter
gravy water whipped skyward
angry carp spawning

warning with pink throats
black bills snap at springtime skin
enemy lines drawn

two turtles, pond rock
old man tromps, steals photograph
nesting gray goose wails
 

Grief walk

sugar maple bleeds
tin buckets capture nothing
dreams escape again

sparrow nest in bricks
ashen baby wings won’t fly
cat toys on pavement