The hood of fog clings to the roof tops before it slides in wet-cold clouds to our feet, Beneath its cowl all is stripped of color as evening descends. Wet pavement dulls in fading lite. Gray-white feathers of frozen mist fur branches and ground, obscuring patches of black ice and murky slush puddles. It is risky walking at this hour of demi-night when gloom and fog swallow street lamps and headlights that blur than blink out like a hand recoiling fast from a hot stove.
It is not silent though footfalls make no sound. The distant church tower rarely heard above the shush of cars and clammer of children, doors and dogs, tolls a muffled half hour. From the north, I think, though my ears may deceive, the mournful honk of Canada geese drifts low. It cannot be, or should not, on this frigid night. The should have flown south to open water. But again, at the edge of my hearing, the soft low call drifting perhaps from the stubbled fields to the east.
Now distant voices bounce beneath the fog dome. Two boys appear mere feet away, laugh and walking in the street, exuberant in their newfound invisibility. “We’re gonna be late, ya know.” “Nah, we can get there really fast if …” And they fade into the fog with the dull, rhythmic clatter of skipping feet as one sidekicks like and Irish dancer.
It is Sunday evening and a lone bicycle rider appears and disappears as I make my way home in the cold. To the soft, sweet sounds of home.
Photo by Daniel Spase on Unsplash
Jan. 18, 2009