The local officer the doorman had called sat patiently with me as I dried my eyes and held Snickers.
It had been three hours since I had awakened and took Snickers, my four-year-old Australian terrier, for his morning liberties. Dad and I switched off weeks for Snickers routine. Dad worked the night shift at Belleview Metropolitan. He was the head of trauma center.
Snickers was mine. Dad and I had wrangled and wrangled for months before I was able to convince him to let me get Snickers. (Being in my thrid-year at Cornell, I thought I deserved my first pet.) He had finally agreed to Snickers after I had promised I would take the main responsibilities for the dog.
Snickers nuzzled his collar under my hand again for attention. I scratched him under his neck. You could hear his safety tags and the silver key clink when I stopped. Snickers let out a small yelp. “Shhh… “ I whispered. Snickers was anxious for my morning breakfast. So was I.
Picking up another post-it, I wrote…
Me again. Wake up.
Daddy, I’ve locked myself out.
Pop, open the door.
I aligned it beside the other eleven notes. “I’m sure this one will stir him.” I smiled at the officer sitting across from me. “You have so kind to sit and wait with me.”
“Ma’am, do you lock yourself out often?” the officer asked.
Embarrassed, I set my eyes to the floor. “Truthfully, it happens more frequently than I care to admit. Even in high school I was a little absent-minded. Dad thinks I’m rather scatter-brained, but I had thought we had worked out a fool-proof system. Dad placed these Post-its and the pencil cup by our doorway so anytime I have need to tell him something, all I have to do is jot a note to him before I forget it. He is real good at seeing it every afternoon when he awakens. We have the same correspondence system right by the refrigerator.”
“Has that helped?” the officer smiled as he asked.
“It sure has.” I was proud of the progress I had made in keeping my life in order.
“Couldn’t you two have found a way to assist with an extra set of keys for the door?”
“Oh, Dad did,” I said. “He wired an extra house key right to Snickers’ collar just in case I ever locked myself out again.” Snickers let out another small yelp as he pressed my hand to his neck.
The officer rubbed Snickers under his collar. “You’ve got a smart dog here with you, Miss.” I heard Snickers’ safety accessories tinkle again. “I’m sure this will work out.” The officer patted me on my head as he rose. “My shift is over in fifteen. I’ll send another officer around to check on you soon.”
FYI: This is a haibun. A haibun is when a writer combines proses and haiku to tell a story.
Written for P.A.D. Poem-a-Day: Writer’s Digest … Day 18: For today’s prompt, write a message poem. You can decide the medium: Message in a bottle, postcard, or voice mail. Of course, there are text messages, telegrams, and letters. My wife loves to leave me messages on Post-It notes (and I love to find them). So write a message in a poem today!
“We’ve been hiking for over two hours- uphill – the entire way, yet the mountaintop seems even further than it did when we started. Are you sure we’ll get there for sunset.”
“I’ve hike this trail many-a-time, dear. When the lads were only eleven, we made up on to the top to set up camp before sunset.”
“Are you saying I’m slower than the boys were?”
“No dear, you’re not slower. Only less patient.” her husband said with a smile. “At least you don’t keep asking, ‘Are we there yet?’”
“I can clearly see that we’re not there, yet, Sweet’ums.”
“A hint of sarcasm. Still plenty of vim-and-vigor in you.”
“This had better be worth the trip.”
“It will be. And unlike my trip with the lads, we’re carrying only water and a few snacks in our packs. No tents.”
“I think you promised a candlelit dinner at the top. I hope that you’re planning to woe me with trail mix protein bars.”
“No, My Sweet.” Another smile crept across his face as it turned away. “The chopper is already atop the mountain with the rest of our things.” And quickly he continued his assent, not waiting for a reply.