This Moment: 9:50 P.M. March 24, 2012

An actor is yelling something in Latin on the television in the other room. The small dog's ears perk and he looks to me, gauges my non reaction and settles his head back onto his paw. The old dog unfolds herself and struggles to her feet, walks a few unsteady steps, then slowly lowers herself onto the hardwood. She is sore from yesterday's walk. Tufts of dog hair float briefly. I think to get the broom. I don't. Gemstone and crystal bead strands catch the light and I am dazzled. Tonight, I am a pirate with treasure! The small dog suddenly leaps on his squeak toy and tosses then pounces, similar to a cat harrowing a mouse. I hear my husband talking in the bedroom, negotiating a deadline. Even in his sleep, he works. The old dog is watching the small dog with his toy. Her lip curls to reveal worn canines when the small dog drops his toy on the rug near me. I throw it into the kitchen and the old dog barks her betrayal. My husband's sleep worn voice warns, "we don't have much time." Both dogs are alert, their attention focused on the closed door, the sleeping man's voice behind the door. I tell the dogs, "we have the hours, the days, the years." The small dog turns his head sideways as I speak. The old dog todders over for a pat. None of us know how much time there is. I think of Gandolf, a character in a book from my youth, asking a young Frodo, "What will you do with time given you?" A train slices the silence.

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