A peculiar hot westerly wind blows down and around the mountains.
The dog hears it first.
It carries scents he doesn’t know
Noises and sounds too far to place.
In the darkness he senses reasons for concern.
He is not alone.
Dogs bark their weariness;
Their signals slide down through blackish crags.
He peers into the night seeking answers but finds none.
Unformed canine queries heap at his feet.
He mutters in frustration.
How can a dog guard his people when danger hides?
Three stars remain visible in the blue lunar haze.
A creature makes her way on crunchy leaves,
In a slight, confusing, wrinkly sound
… A slither may be.
Citronella candles blow out in a gust;
The pool breaks out in quivers.
Strange voices tangle in the bougainvillea
Rip some faded blooms on their way down the hill.
Cicadas are silent.
A door slams.
He looks at his charges blithely ignorant and carefree.
His ears twitch, reading the night air.
His friend says something; she laughs.
With an exasperated sigh he lies down
At their feet and remains on watch.