Debra Spencer

He strolls down the middle of the sidewalk
leaving little room for me. I lag behind
to get around an open gate, to avoid
a fence post, a mailbox sticking out.
You don’t walk as fast as you used to, he says,
striding ahead on his personal red carpet,
feet turned slightly out, a spring in his step
like he’s about to go up for a jump shot.
I dodge a low branch and the open door
of a parked car. Just as I decide
to hip-check him out into the street
he stops and crouches to pet
a little white cat. He croons to her,
stroking her arched back. The cat
closes her eyes and I think of how he sleeps
nestled against me, turning when I turn
all night long, and never wakes me.