Portrait of a Woman with Sun and Dog
Standing in the pale green grass,
The sun glints in her eyes.
It makes a delicate pattern of light on her feet.
The rays come to rest on a tall evergreen tree’s leaves.
She folds her arms across her stomach, pausing in the large, green field.
She comes to rest near the blue lake.
The dog plays at her side, not able to stay still.
He gnaws frantically at a bone in his teeth,
Then pulls it out of his mouth, tugging at it with his two paws.
The dog is not that hungry, but the bone is tantalizing,
He wants to get more meat out of it,
Nothing is coming.
As she looks at him, the dog spots her eyes.
He is a russet dog, a golden retriever, not a baby, yet not old.
He smiles up at her
And forgets the bone for a moment,
it drops down by his two front paws, hidden in the tall grass.
She stands closer to him, pats a hand to her hip,
He understands to move near her.
For a moment, he glances back to the bone,
scratching a paw in the glistening grass.
Then he moves forward.
As she gestures to the sun,
The dog pauses by her side.
Looking upward, he wonders what his owner points to.
He sees an orange round shape in the distance.
He is not that interested.
Gradually, he rests his head down on his two forelegs
Stares at a yellow bird perched just a few feet ahead of him.
The clouds fold together from white to yellow to gold.
They weave as a quilt in the sky,
They too are not content to stay still.
The sun beckons.
The dog is now asleep at his owners feet.
Gone is the frenetic energy of a few moments ago.
He pauses. realizing that the woman needs silence.
A streak of red, then another moves out across the sky,
A brilliant orange - sunset.
The woman sits down on her deckchair to take in the sight.
The dog rests next to her as the sun lowers,
Until it becomes a whisper above the blue water.
Dorothy Johnson-Laird is a poet and social worker who lives in New York City. She received a B.A. in creative writing from New School University and an M.F.A in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Dorothy also works as a music journalist with a passion for African music. She has published journalism with www.afropop.org and www.worldmusiccentral.org.
Recent poetry has been published with BeZine, Fresh Words Magazine, Last Leaves Literary magazine, among others. More of Dorothy’s poetry can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/Dorothy-Johnson-Laird-Poet-106451582140735