walking by

I

In the early morning, when the stars are like jewels in the inky sky

and my breath turns to tiny clouds in front of my face

I walk.

I look silly:

headlamp on top of striped woolen hat

orange-green-yellow leggings

a black down jacket with a reflective safety vest on top.

but it’s dark and no one can see how silly I look- until it’s not dark. And I’m pacing along, looking like a side show escapee from the circus.

I walk on country roads lined with cornfields, and soybeans.

The shadowy tall cornstalks look like a million sentries standing guard- silent, and a little spooky. (Something could hide in those rows of corn.)

There is a farm house down the lane that has a single light burning.

Coming closer, I can see that it is the lonely light of the kitchen, a bare bulb suspended over an enamel topped table. Edward Hopper was here.

To get home, I must walk for a stretch on a bigger road. This road has guard rails and bright yellow lines screaming down the middle and-

road kill.

How do you walk by road kill?

This morning it’s a raccoon.

I can see from yards away

its striped tail

the round body

the small pool of blood.

I make my circle wide

avoiding at all costs any chance of making contact

but I can’t help but look at its eyes.

That’s where we can see into the soul- the animating spark of any creature-

(Wait! Do animals have souls?)

And the raccoon stares blankly at the sky

a forever gaze-

empty and done.

Published by audreycadyscanlan

mother. wife. bishop. priest. hiker. cook. aspiring writer.

One thought on “walking by

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