Two Dogs Playing in the Snow, Perkins Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
January 2, 2013
Just up the hill from Everett Covered Bridge
in a place where horse trail flattens into an old farm road
two dogs bound forth in the snow.
One is a breed known for leaping skills.
His coat is tawny, like a deer’s coat,
but his tail, even among the small trees and fallen logs
looks like a dog’s tail, and wags. He carries a stick.
The second is a calico border collie, who at high speed
turns a corner in the snow to head off the first.
One leaps over, the second runs around, and together
they roughhouse like friends and brothers.
Free of houses, cages, fenced yards, car carriers and leashes,
they run from their masters, but not too far.
Soon they’ll go home.
Do dogs dream of snow? Do they dream about sticks?
Do they long for each other? Can they taste the gray sky?
I’m powerless over the shit
on my shoe while I’m driving
on the highway I accept
that I can’t drive
forward when the yellow school
bus flashes red offering
the opportunity to drive up close
to the wrong curb & wipe
the shit off my shoe
~ wendy shaffer