Alone here this time.
Well not alone – with Winston, my dog.
Instead of a vacation the Kawartha cabin becomes my office.
My office with a wood stove & bunk beds & a view of the storm
puffing in just after we arrive.
The open field, through the door’s window, losing its top layer of snow.
The wind – the bully – pushing and shoving the snow up
only to let her fall back down again
confused and suddenly covered with a new fresh layer from the sky.
The camera unable to distinguish between flakes flying sideways.
Pale lines against the pines captured.
The drive here dry.
Dry and cold enough for me to park through the meadow.
Driving over hard mud, thinly masked with ice.
The wheels bumping, the water cracking
that free feeling where you’re not sure if you’re going to be stuck.
Here on my own this time.
Must seem peculiar to Glen and Yvonne
my airBnB landlords again for the next 60 hours or so.
My reading week I explain, I teach
and I’m a writer too I guess
a playwright mostly, they nod, like nice people do.
Glen asks about a comedy for his town in the summer.
I say something about Norm Foster
like he needs any more work in rural Canada.
Before going back up to the farm
Glen said something about coyotes
and the pup’s droppings drawing them near.
“Bobcaygen” is coming out of the shower radio
a Christmas present from my father.
Bobcaygen in Bobcaygen
How could I be so lucky?
Nostalgia for me
Identity for them
Do you think there’s a limit on how many times they can play that in a year?
I’m excited to hear it really.
Nobody plays the tragically hip in Toronto
but we do have tall men with no teeth
who say stuff like, “Who’s walking who?”
when I’m out with my dog
standing together waiting for the light.
At the cabin Winston runs
free from concrete and leashes.
I worry I’ll lose him to the squirrels and the birds
but he’s pretty good at finding me.
3am fires almost out
but with the help from old news
and a splinter in my right hand
she’s back full force.
I look at the dog annoyed at the movement
I guess he’s right it’s too early
to write on my own in the dark
or is it too late?
There’s howling outside.
Winston’s immediately alert.
Glen’s coyotes have come.
I know the door’s locked
but I check again to be sure.
The dog mistakes this for a sign
for an early morning walk to the howls
and I spend the next hour
petting him to sleep
breathing my heart to rest.
The moon much too large to fit in the window.