Before Dawn

I’m up early this morning. Excited about being back in school, about seeing the new kids, about teaching. I’m up early enough that I had to wake the pups from their slumber to walk the neighborhood. First, Sophie asleep on the couch. Then Teddy, always vigilant when walks are concerned and eager to go once he realized. Then I had to roust old Jack, sleeping deeply, but once he saw what was going on, he was ready, too.

Up before the dawn, all of us out the door. It’s cold, but not as cold as it has been, as it could be. Up and out before the dawn, so there’s no sunrise to report about. We walked and walked and it was silent but for one rooster some streets over. We walked before the sun, we walked before the birds awoke, we walked before the garbage trucks, we walked before the day began. We walked for me, for the pups, for you. We walked for the quiet city still asleep… We walked for the stars above, circling endlessly. We walked to call the sun forth to light our way and to warm our day. We walked and walked, quietly here, but for the jingle of tags and the squeak of one man’s old shoe. We walked for the day, to call forth from the dark. We walked. We walked.

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