I pause beside ancient oak stump
the one that bids me contemplate life
but my puppy wags, seeking my eyes
wonders why we have stopped

Inside a moment of stillness
I query if a part of me
way down in my roots
is really untethered

Soft sunlight spreads
across doggy’s face.
Her eyes meet my gaze
So faithful, her wiggle
dances anxious for our leave

Can I be as joyous
from just a daily jaunt?
Can I be this connected
to the eyes of another?

I gaze at silent tree
expect to decipher an answer
etched on its bark,
dusty from summer

Puppy lets out a squeal
not loud or empty
but a small rich trill
of merriment—pure pleasure
Her leash pulls me to continue
onto golden path

My feet lift buoyant
even as they desire
familiar touch of ground
Ahead another dog-walker
may offer me a chance
to greet with deep eyes

I wonder what I would be
without my ability
to see beyond what it is
I am seeing?