We meander on, make our way.

Night is falling now, over the little barn-red modular house along Dry Creek, the 80’s refurbed Fleetwood with real 2 x 6 construction we managed to get over the creek in halves circa ’91.

My kennel is long overgrown; the ghosts of my Goldens dream there and sometimes dive into the creek.

We work. We write. I light the pellet stove and try to comprehend the latest techno device to come our way: a router. I spend two hours trying to install wifi on Jack’s old laptop. Error messages in Romanian.

It takes me two minutes to install it on my laptop; small victory.

We live by small victories, little stumbles toward small achievements. The banana silk pie I invented last night. The doll I painted in acrylic and assembled, asleep for the ages yet with small peering blue eyes that unsettle me. My imagination would strike some kind of fire where a heart would be to bring her to life.

Small victories; we worm Mandy by mixing leftover horse Strongid with peanut butter. She’s better today.

The sky clock of winter turns and turns; poems fall from my mouth and incubate like lacy moths, in the silence.

We dare to love. I am 65, on the very cusp, the brow of the hill; Jack turns 72 in a few days.

We are victorious merely by living a mildly, moderately productive day, without a harsh word or a desperate thought. We love and need and forgive bravely. Soon we will sit together by candlelight in our newest ritual; sipping Martinelli’s from wine glasses, our fingers laced.

We do what you all do; we live on, trying to be good at it.