The owl-eyed veterinarian talks too fast, wears her hair in a bun. The bun’s so tight it makes her eyes bulge. It’s always the same, we care about our dog and cat’s health, we start with good intentions. But her words run together like boxcars blurring into one and we glaze over tired and confused, feeling cheated by the bill. I consider the bad timing of our last office visit once the cat Roxy goes missing a day or two later. We heard her shriek in the night outside, Dawn leapt out of bed, then went with the dog searching but turned up no results. I scanned for the body, the collar, the following afternoon. We agreed to go to the Mexican place for dinner and didn’t talk about it, didn’t toast, seemed weird. But when we got home she was there by the back door wanting in, rubbed against us, went for her food. And then we all went outside again and had margaritas.
Mom left today and I’m rising later with the sun, the birdsong tamped down. To the lake for my morning walk it’s glass, worn down. A good ten feet of beach, pebbles and pine cones, logs that make for natural seats, a knobby root shaped like a saddle. A few fishermen on the dock, a far-off crow. The light in the morning, at night, goes that trippy Maxfield Parrish golden pink, greens and blues. The sun settles into itself like the flame on a candle when it’s close to the bottom, but still has a way’s to go.