This Moment: 3:00 P.M. 27 December 2012

I wake from a nap dreaming of parking my car behind a building that is one part hospital rehabilitation center and one part tapas bar. I'm certain this has significance but choose not to ferret out the meaning. The snow is heavy in the trees. Branches strain under the weight. The old dog is breathing heavily. The small dog is grooming himself. Now he is turning circles on the bed until he settles and curls back into sleep. Car shuttle past, windows frosted with snow. In this light, the world is a paint by numbers in cool white, blackish green and slate gray. The small dog rises, small tail curled, growling and barking at a man walking on the opposite sidewalk. He is clad in dark blue and black winter gear, a heavy navy-colored backpack slung on his shoulder. He appears like a bruise in the snow. The old dog noses deeper into her pillow. I wonder if the bow hunters are huddled in the neighboring field, behind their blind, large geese decoys before them. During the snowstorm, I saw them searching the field for arrows in their hunter's white and gray camouflage. They said they felled three geese. I thought of the phrase "let it have been quick" from poet Leslie Norris' poem Hudson's Geese. Yes, if there must be hunters and hunting, let the deaths of the hunted be quick and painless. The men had been giddy and said they were "having a ball." As we spoke, geese flew overhead. The man called " geese" and the other two immediately sunk to their knees and crouched in the snow while the man blew into the whistle, emitting plaintive honk calls. The geese turned midair and began to descend. I left, not wanting to see death so close. I hear the gentle rumble of a train rolling down the tracks. The small dog is on alert at the edge of the bed, waiting for a violator to enter his territory. I tap my chest and he crawls into my lap and settles into licking salt from the inside of my wrist.

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