At Thirteen

My parents left the house.
They left me alone.

I am less alone than when they are present.
I will be less alone for ten days.

The dog is asleep.
We walked seven miles.

We walked that distance as a delaying tactic
so my parents would be gone

by the time the dog and I
returned to the house.

The dog gives little woofs
through her sleep.

The TV plays without sound
so the dog may sleep

with her head on my thigh
on the couch were she is forbidden.

My mind rotates through subjects
just as the TV slow motion baseball rotates

on its way to home plate
to complete its part of the pitch.

A squirrel looks in from the window.
It presses paws to glass.

It knows this is the spot
where my parents place peanuts to attract it.

This spot is adjacent to the door
that allows the dog into the yard.

When the squirrel sees I do not move
it jumps on to the bird feeder

and knocks its willy-nilly
so seed scatters on to patio stones.

The squirrel scoops up the seed.
The TV shortstop scoops up a ground ball.

A double play is turned to end the inning.
The dog repositions her sleeping head.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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