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 look silly:
headlamp on top of striped woolen hat
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-
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.