Walking Mysteries

The sun burns her sultry way
to the horizon and a little breeze
blows celebration kisses as
my 13-year-old friend and I begin
our nightly journey. We head to the lake
first tonight. Showing up wet at the door
might cause a conniption, so I have
her mother’s blessing.
She is a keen swimmer,
ducking for a long drink. She comes
out quickly but I let her know
we can stay.
The water she shakes is cool.
She wades past white
rip rap and feathery strands of dark
green seaweed. Every now and then
she emerges to roll on the grass.
My belly laughs
at her antics are a gift
to her big heart.
Sheer joy.
Her mother tells me later what
I can see as we walk,
dragging her arthritic hind leg,
panting in her pain. And always,
tail wagging, head lifted to salute
the neighbor riding his bike calling
“Stella is taking a walk!”
Everybody here basks in the love
she radiates. I lead her on a different
route tonight, since a swim first
would be more
convenient for the humans, but
she is disoriented, pausing now to peer
at the dim shape of a house.
She recently lost her human
father, and she looks for him
in the few passing cars
which stop to greet her.
She sniffs Sweet Williams and thyme,
but I think her scent powers are fading.
I pet her and call her name and finally,
she simply accepts
her confusion, allows the unknown
to ground her into the same magnetic
earth we pace every evening. She is
my gift tonight. We treasure life
as we near the end of the road.

Daily Ragtag Prompt: Keen

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts: Burn

Word of the Day Challenge: Conniption