Every Good Morning

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I fell asleep last night with the storm still lashing the windows with rain. This morning I needed a sweatshirt to walk with Wolfie.

Tramping along a path and tossing a stick, I carried no thought of the future or regret about the past. Wolfie romped back and forth, retrieving and carrying and throwing the stick into the air as if he were a performer. The clouds were white and thick, the wind brisk and the sky a rich blue.

He stopped immediately when he found the skeleton. Picked clean of meat, it still glistened with grease; two slugs worked on the last of the gristle — a snake skeleton, headless, about 3 feet long. Its ribs were flexible. A boy forever, I could not resist setting it up on a stick for a photo. Wolfie stood a foot away, nosing in.

Two hundred yards ahead I caught sight of deer through the tree line. I leashed Wolfie and whistled. Six red-brown deer, one a button buck, took off on that glancing run of theirs, their feet seeming to barely touch the ground. Wolfie strained to run.

Along the open path through the big field, Wolfie roamed ahead, nose down, dissolving into the high grass. Once he disappeared completely from sight and a big bird came thumping up 40 yards in, flying hard. I saw Wolfie’s white tipped tail flashing inside the green. There he is, there, he’s gone. Then leaping up to see and landing and running and leaping again, he oriented himself and returned to me, eyes afire, ecstatic, my best boy.


© Mike Wall

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