Roy Herndon Smith

I was walking in
the early evening when Tash
ran up with a stick,

put it in my hand,
ran off just a little bit,
stopped, and turned to look,

with head cocked, at me.
I tossed the stick. It tumbled
in the dusky light

and landed a ways
away. Tash ran after it
and picked it up and

ran back and put it
in my hand. I tossed it. So,
as I walked, we played.

At the cliff’s edge, I
sat down on a rock, and Tash
brought the stick and laid

it on a flat rock
just far enough away I
had to reach for it,

but, then, Tash pulled it
away just a little bit more,
so I had to reach

farther for it, but,
Tash pulled it away again.
I got up to walk

back to the house. Tash
put the stick in my hand, and
I tossed it, and he

ran and picked it up
and ran back with it. The light
was just about gone,

and I, in just a
bit more than a murmur, said,
“Can’t see it. That’s it.”

Tash stopped, turned, and ran
away with the stick. And I walked
in the dark alone.