When spring floats in on wind and boiling cloud,
dilutes air to rain, my path stays the same.
But the pace must change.
Creeks run up out of their well tended beds
to unplanned gullys, splitting the road
into ribbons of rock and red-brown dirt;
the lake wallows below awaiting flood.
We pick though riveretts, the dog and me,
to the tamped civilized pavement
where I find my stride, and him his trot.
He lowers his head, his ears flipped wide,
only out in this because it wouldn't do
to miss a second of breathing us in.
I take in a passing minivan with half-absent,
too-busy flutter of hand. Though they don't ask anymore
about the woman with the dog in the rain.
Steps even, breaths sounding off each strike
of nike against the black-grey surface.
Our zone is somewhere between burning ache
and a premeditated lock on the thought of the day:
Only now matters. Just this slow seep
of wet, fingering my collar, just the woods,
the filling lake, and this. This breath, then that one.
Then the next.
When time is measured in breaths, in the rain, with the dog,
there is so much more of it. And life is not so short.