Running in the forest with my border collie Nel is a regular practice that brings me great joy. I feel privileged to have her companionship - to share her exuberance, witness her intelligence and be the recipient of her immense loyalty. The forest is a special place for us. It helped heal us both.
Sometimes we saw shadows of gods
in the trees; silenced, we went on.
Sometimes the dog would bound off
over the snow, into the forest.
Sometimes a tree had twenty
or more black turkeys in it, each
seeming the size of a small black bear.
We remember them for their care
for their kind ever since we watched the big hen
in the very top of the tree shaking
load after load of apples down to the flock.
Sometimes I felt I would never
come out of the woods, I thought
its deeper darkness might absorb me
or feed me to the black turkeys
and I would cry out for the dog
and the dog would not answer.