Backlit by morning light my teenage son
helps me slide a feed sack over our dog,
raise, place her in the wheelbarrow,
the same battered yard sale wheelbarrow
I sat him in when he was little
then zigzagged past Japanese lanterns pretending
it was a racing car, the rapt boy rushed
through our enclosed walkway with a heartbeat to spare,
dog at our heels, her excited bark echoing,
heading towards the weeping cypresses.
We take the same path, open the same gate,
but more slowly, as if worn down, tired now,
that same pair of nesting swans flying south
over the bridge towards the river's mouth.