My little dog Bobby, without a collar or a leash, led me down the slope toward Waterhole Branch, between a thick water oak with branches akimbo and a skinny cypress, straight up like some arrow that dropped from the middle of the sky. Bobby doesn’t wander far ahead of me. Like he’s my keeper, bless his heart.
And if I dawdle, say, maybe stop to notice something, he’ll sometimes come to see what I’ve found. If I’m looking in the tree branches at a bird, or, like yesterday, some bright red lichen spattered on a twisted limb, he might also look up in the same direction. But sometimes he stops and eyeballs me, a look that asks, “Can we just keep it moving?”
Well, Bobby boy, just depends on what’s got my attention.
This morning, it was a sprinkling of clover at my feet. But what held me so captivated was how each clover leaf was adorned with a jeweled drop of dew. I got down on my knees. I put my palms on the ground and bent my face closer, arrested by the beauty of one certain clover, like an elegant lady dressed up in a holy trinity of her finest diamonds.
Bobby came to see, but I pushed his face away in case he got a mind to give a lick and spoil my find. I went back to the cabin for my iPhone, and a picture. Then, tonight in the dark with a flashlight, it seemed at first that all the clover had disappeared. A closer look and I was surprised to learn something new. Clover sleeps at night with its leaves tucked to its stem. How did a country boy get to this age and never have discovered that?
In gratitude, I reciprocate with seventeen syllables.
Clover sleeps at night
folds three leaves down to her side
stars fall, morning dew