I.

All day a headache began to settle into my skull,

wrapping around and then pounding in my temples.

(home was calling me back and I longed to be there.)

I thought about the dog,

standing by the window,

watching us leave,

tail wagging,

ears folded back,

slight, quiet, whimpering.

So foggy this morning, the road shrouded in mist and the radio warning of coming storms.

Storms or not the dog will be waiting for me in the same spot as soon as I get home.

(Happy, animated, excited and welcoming.)

II.

I have.always loved the contrast between atmospheric violence and the welcome of home, dry and warm inside and wet, loud and swirling outside.

(the leaves blowing across the lawn.)

The cats are intrigued by the rain that falls down the window glass.

(I wonder if the would chase the leaves across the lawn if they had the chance?)

III.

He called around six pm and I could tell that he was lonely and confused, he forgets my name but I continue to listen because I cannot forget his. 

He  repeats himself and we end up talking about the weather.

(He says it is cold and that he waits for Spring!)

I wonder if Spring will come? 

(I remember the day and how predictable the dog’s reactions are when I get home.) 

I still carry the scars of those summer interactions as June turned into July and then August.)

Now comes Christmas and Advent and the house up there is empty of voices but still full of all those memories from other times.

Good and bad they all get rearranged and disassembled time after time, lost in confusion and in the fading of a once sharp memory.

I.V.

I decided to call her later in the evening.

She was pleasant and alert and said she had just returned from dinner.

She asked about the kids and how they were behaving?

She remarked about the cold weather and asked if I would be visiting soon?

I promised I would see her in February.

The dog sat beside my chair the rest of the night and eventually fell asleep. 

T.S. Deary 

P.A.F.M.