On the sage straddled trail, green and brown shards perform an earthen version of stained glass windows. Before the path goes black with smelting slag, I let him off leash, stuff it dangling from my back pocket. Leo, the Aussie mystery mix, free to roam, walks beside me, looks up for approval from my left, as if to say, See, I am good, until the wind pulls him by the nose here and there, and he stops to drop his drops upon the world, his yellow approval, his self assertion: I am here. Even emptied, still he tries. He weaves ahead and back a dozen times, a weft between us. I sing his name—his favorite word, followed by an even better one, the one that makes him tremble, shout in Dog his best English in the family room: Walk! Walk! Wao-aao-aaao-lk! I sing both words, for maximum effect, to see him moved: “Leo and Mama goin’ on a walk, walk walk, walk walk!” and he begins to dance, circle me, tongue-smiling, prancing, passing behind my legs. I wind him up with happy staccato, “Walk walk, walk walk,” dancing myself now, snapping my fingers. He tosses his head against the swinging leash, snatches at it with his mouth, steals it from my pocket. Something dawns. I laugh, he pauses, waits for me to hook his collar, reaches back, takes control of the leash with his teeth, yanks me holding the other end. We walk in the joy of being tied together, our mutual tether. I sing and sing our names. Our feet lift dust. We walk each other. Walk, his word for love, the leash between us worn and red.


6 Responses to “Walk”

  1. Fey says:

    Ooohhh, Baby! Do I love this power packed ending. We have the same scenario here. Puppy stands up so we will hurry to connect. And so we need a red bond betwixt us and humans. More than ever

  2. Fay says:

    I can visualize every moment. The grab of the nose, the impatience of getting hooked up, and the joy of being alive. Very nice. Thank you for sharing with me.

    • wordweed says:

      You’re welcome! He surprised me on this walk…never before did I realize how happy he felt on leash. There must be something to that for us humans to understand. We think we want full freedom, but sometimes social or personal restraints help us better contain and direct ourselves, our energies, our love.

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