The Fall

3/10/14

Digging in my pocket for the car keys, sheaf of papers under one arm, for no particular reason choosing the stairs, the cement felt slippery; for the briefest of seconds I was in the air, papers fluttering down like giant flakes of snow, braking my fall with my wrist, and in turn, my wrist breaking with the fall.

The things we take for granted, the things we miss when gone.

Momma says that a person just gets by, use one arm of the jacket and sling the other over a shoulder; or for her, turn the volume up and sit closer to the T.V., then closer yet, until finally it doesn’t matter how near the screen, it’s still a blur and she makes do with only sound.

The Lola Dog struggles to rise, back haunches mere props once she does; stiff, unbending, she hops rather than runs. Once we marveled at the length of her stride, measured by the sand prints she left while racing gulls in flight, her tracks fading with the waves.

Now, she pools on the floor, a reflection to mind your step around as you thread through the room.

I regret the times when I could have been more kind, but was not; the times I could of stopped but merely waved or the words I should have spoken.

At what point is it just enough; long ago our old, beloved, brown Rosco Dog, two years removed from the passing of his mate, Gina, and the arrival of Lola, oh so gray in the muzzle, totters into the yard like treading upon broken glass, picking his way, stops, lies down, legs folded beneath him, head wearily erect as if listening for a distant call.

Watching him there, nestled still in the grass, eyes elsewhere; well, I just knew, my heart slowed, time seemed elastic and for a moment there was only great silence to the world.

And in that silence I hear my late Father’s voice; I see that Rosebrook boy, perched upon the stainless prep table, long, skinny legs akimbo; we’re out late, just back from the job, laughing, icy condensation slowly gliding down his bottle of hard lemonade, the light flickers, dims, the moment passes, he smiles, shakes his head as he sometimes did, a final thought unsaid, pushes off and is away, gone, the night folding in softly around him, the door quietly closing behind.

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Hug the ones you love and stop to scratch the old dog behind the ears as you go by.

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