The Noontime Nap

The man sits in the stillness
of the evening, the only sound,
the hum of the oven baking the
pie crust. Darkness descends

early in the aftermath of the
post “fall back” fall. It’s just
after five but the last glimmer
of light is about to depart not

to return as the same dim light
again till eight the next morn-
ing having traveled from east
to west announcing the soon

coming of winter. The man looks
up at the mantel and focuses on
the jar containing the ashes of
the chocolate lab who died three

months prior. A photo of Buddy
Baloo rests against the jar. The
man begins to speak to the dog
behind the photo and behind the

jar, the dog afar. The man
reminisces about all the jogs
and then the walks and then
the naps. The man would walk

to the couch and Buddy would
get up from wherever he had
been, walk slowly over and
slide down in front of the

couch with a thump on the floor.
The man would put his hand on
Buddy’s side, feel the rhythmic
breathing, listen to his own

breathing beginning to match
the dog’s and the two would
fall off to a serene, blissful
noontime nap.

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