Silent Signals


Silent Signals

I give the signal- 
two pats of my hip

the covers rustle
two still-sleepy bedheads
black Schnauzer
white Schnoodle

eight feet
hit the wood floor
in two thunks
collars clinking
toenails ticking the grain
through the dark
to the front door
leashes click
locked tight

a blast of cold air licks
my ankles
bare between my
high-water Cuddle Duds
and worn-out scuffs

I pull my hooded flannel up tight
give two quick huffs
watch my breath float
brace for the pull of the leads
as the boys’ nose-to-ground adventure begins
to find the choice spot

at 5:14 a.m.
nestled deep in the woods
a beam of flashlight
shines glowing eyes 




deer? owl? fox? raccoon?
coyote? (the reason the leashes lock)

icy crunch of earth underfoot
pinhole winks of stars overhead
I wave to my mama up there
she is more amused
by these knuckleheads
than by me
as they stand
like two motorcycles
parked side by side
on kickstands
thawing the frozen ground
scratching off
in an overdone show
of who marked better 

I give the signal-
two pats of my hip 

back inside
leashes unlock
toenails tick the grain
straight back to bed
to tunnel back under
and slumber
til sun-up

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