The leash snaked home trailing the dog.
But the man walking his Samoyed was missing.
Who wonders if darkness is evaporation,
a dewy substance lifting off branches?
The flashlight was nowhere in sight.
Lily sped inside as though spooked,
tongue long as a man’s necktie.
Where was the man who’d walked his dog?
Lily’s tail fanned the entryway. She barked.
You said, Be quiet, where is he? Every fear
a prelude to the unimaginable. Perhaps
his heart gave out, hair frosted
over snow. Nighttime drivers can’t discern
one shadow from the next. He might
have looked like a roadside bush or perhaps
someone picked him up, held him hostage
for love. You lock Lily in her crate,
slip on your jacket, walk out his route.
The wind slaps your back, you punch it back.
A steady stream of calling out his name
renders nothing. Blizzardly snow descends.
You hightail it back home. The man
you’d been looking for opens the door. Where
the hell have you been, he asks. Adding,
“I know you like to make snow men,
but really, darling, in this weather?”
—Published previously in the poet’s latest book, Camaraderie
of the Marvelous (Kelsay Books, 2 September 2021); poem appears here with
lives with her husband and their Samoyed on six acres in a forest of oaks and
ponderosa pines in Lassen County, California, where they enjoy the solitude and
beauty. Soon after moving to Lassen County, Dianna founded The Thompson Peak
Writers’ Workshop, which has been going for twenty-six years. As she says,
“The work by others inspires me to be my very best writer.”
For more information, see Brief Bio at the