We are on the bridge
dumped there by a squealing bus
like wobbly fawns in a wilderness of sure-pedaled cars
They are everywhere and I am shouting.
We inch along
my hand
trailing the mossy wall
who knows what else is growing there and my fingers
shrink cowardly against my will
She is tentative but trusts me.
She probably shouldn’t, but she doesn’t know.
It’s all a lot of noise with very little danger
like fear
like life
I’m not afraid of it hurting
I’m just afraid it won’t wait for me.
Slow-footed, she and I
we can’t wait to be on the ground
safe, off display
she finds me stairs, wagging, hopeful
We slink down,
down into depths that I didn’t know but now do
under the bridge is a place we sort of understand
where just weeks ago we were strangers
we are now strangers, but intimate
like fear
like life
we are touching ground, and she is bounding and happy
her once unfamiliar is familiar
toenails clattering like constancy
she sprints towards her reward
and I concede that yes,
she’ll probably get her eared scratched and her belly rubbed
when we get home.

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