They walk their Lab on McMillan Road,
the limbs of their lengthy marriage pulled
from every joint,
every step, a monumental mission.
Even the dog seems to sense something’s wrong,
as she stays close, letting the leash
lag. The husband pauses long,
trying to think of something positive to say,
practice in praise their counselor has advised,
when a brown figure startles them with its sudden
then dives into the nearby stream.
As they approach the creek,
they see the beaver
beneath the surface,
gliding with such ease
no noise, no aftermath
of turbulence, no wake follows—
if the water
weren’t clear, they’d never know the animal was there.
Maybe they’d all like to jump in—
the dog for the glory of the swim,
for the hope of cleansing,
the wife for the progress of her body
toward something else,
away from this road
they’ve all been treading.