A night not fit for man nor beast, yet
The dog dances at the door,
Her nightly routine
Unaffected by the cold.
I open the door—
Out she goes!
I hesitate, reluctant to leave
The cozy warmth of the living room.
I step onto the deck, and my eyes follow
Through the yard,
Her black form conspicuous
Against the snow-covered ground.
Old North Wind rushes in,
Scattering fallen snow like fairy dust
Across frozen fields.
Swirls of snowflakes sparkle diamondlike
In the porch light’s glow.
My eyes drift heavenward
To the cloudless sky alight with stars.
Orion stands sentinel
In the western sky, the Milky Way
A mantle cascading across his shoulders;
Even the hunter
Seeks warmth on this winter night.
A lone owl hoots
From some distant tree,
And I bid him well, knowing his prey
Likely eludes him in this cold.
Taking a cue from Orion,
I draw my own coat closer and call for the dog.
My whistle shatters the icy silence;
Raven ceases sniffing
Her paws crunching across crusted snow.
She bounds up the steps,
And I open the door—
In she goes!
I pause, reluctant to leave
The frozen beauty of this night.
North Wind rushes in once more, and I shiver in surrender.
Orion winks wordlessly
As I bid him farewell and retreat inside.