This Moment: 12:53 P.M. April 5, 2012

Dirt has made a landscape of my hands. The dark lines of my palms look like a satellite photo of the Nile framed by white sand. I have spent the last few hours preparing my small plot of earth for herbs and flowers. It is far too early to plant vegetables. An ambulance sounds its shrill alarm, followed by double bass notes of a fire truck following closely. After four days of walking, the old dog is running without a limp. She is resting now watching the little dog burrow the grass until he stretches out. He kicks his hind leg then jumps up and digs at the grass despite my admonishments until I stamp my foot on the deck. Clouds are tinged a faint robin's egg blue. A breeze wicks any moisture in the air. The newly weeded and raked beds are quickly turning from sienna to light cocoa. The small dog is on the deck pawing at the rug. He cannot find satisfaction. The emerging pink buds of the peach tree make me think of Persephone emerging from the musty Underworld into a world of fragrant blossoms. Now that she is free of Hades thick fingers I wonder how she has the courage to keep her bargain with the dark god and return every year. A small child's excited screams lift on the air. What game is she playing? The small dog is barking a warning to the woman and her two white dogs walking the lane. The old dog's ears are pointed backwards in annoyance. If I believed in reincarnation, I imagine the small dog is doing penance for his past as a Berserker, sword raised, jumping from the wooden Viking ship to foreign soil, his shimmering blue-painted naked body taut with the certain knowledge he would taste blood that day.

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