in sherwood park, our rough hewn hounds
pound past cossetted furbabies, jacketed
and lifted from the snow/ice/salt
when their tender paws grow weary
their humans wheel them home in strollers
they chuckle wryly, we burl on, both sides
too refined to strain at judgment’s leash.
on avenue of nations, i spy another stroller
outside the frontage advertising licences
compliances, and such. i slow, and that’s enough:
a woman, thickened by streetlife, cracks the door
‘there’s no baby in there.’
warning, defense, defiance of my camel coat
pashmina and well-heeled stride, and i feel it
flex again, that double-ended leash.