Walking in the new winter woods,
the crunch of fragile ground beneath
my dog’s paws will be sore tonight
for we aim far afield.
I think of this morning when we
argued at breakfast,
the smell of maple bacon should
stop all that, but didn’t.
We can’t get past the desiccated ghosts
who have taken up residence in our hearts, inviting
slights and outright blows never delivered
but still lingering in the air.
I took the gun loaded with birdshot
in case there was a duck down by the pond.
Were, but those be sitting ducks-
didn’t seem right, too easy a target
like this morning at breakfast when either one
of us could have let swing and landed a good one
on tender flesh and raw nerves.
The dog is game for hunting,
but my heart isn’t .
My thoughts go back to you standing there,
that old apron around your waist,
determined not to let me see tears
and my heart cracks and soon I head back with
a peace offering of holly.