July Fifth

We walked all the way round the cul-de-sac today,

The dogs, the characters in my head, and I.

They distracted me while I tried to count down from twenty four, a task which in the moment seemed terribly important. I needed to count down from twenty four while I was walking, you see, or else I would have had to do it after walking and that would not do.

So the characters distracted me while the dogs found mud.

There was something all tight and stuck in my hip, my walk was halting, not smooth, not dancing on a wave.

Not quite drowning in a wave either, more falling, more stumbling.

That’s all right.

Better to warm up the machine with a quiet walk with dogs and characters and numbers, slowly, on my own familiar territory

than to try to do it out there in the world where one must pay bills

or to not do it at all.

I made it to eighteen.