October 14, 2011

Kathleen Walsh Spencer

FIRST FROST

we don’t know where the dog slept last night
the temperature fell below 32
she did not have her winter coat yet
the door closed behind her

the temperature fell below 32
we’d protected our plants from frost
the door closed behind her
we turned the thermostat up

we’d protected our plants from frost
covered with cotton sheets
we turned the thermostat up
tucked our daughter into bed

covered with cotton sheets
up late on a school night
tucked our daughter into bed
we did not hear any cries

up late on a school night
awake at 6, dazed and stiff
we did not hear any cries
our dog stood shaking at the back door

awake at 6, dazed and stiff
frost between the pads of her paws
our dog stood shaking at the back door
we lay along side her to warm her

frost between the pads of her paws
as our daughter’s alarm clock shrills
we lay down along side her to warm her
You’ll need your hat and mittens today

our daughter’s alarm clock shrills
You’ll need your hat and mittens today
she does not have her winter coat yet
we don’t know where the dog slept last night

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006