The nights have grown longer, dusk falling earlier and his office light stays on later into the evening. More often than not, stars dot the sky on his walk home.
Tonight, he’s got Pongo happily leading the way – he always takes the long way through the square, but invariably gets them both home safely and in time for dinner. It’s only just twilight when they pause in front of Granny’s – Pongo sniffing at the sidewalk as Archie considers ordering his supper despite having a meal at home that Marco had undoubtedly left for him.
As if sensing his debate, Pongo pulls at his leash and guides them past quiet homes and shop fronts, pausing at their usual bench to take a brief rest. Archie’s umbrella leans between his feet and he relaxes back against the bench – looking up at the sky as stars shine one by one through the clear canopy of the New England night.
Under his breath, as though whispering a divine secret, he murmurs; “Star light, star bright… first star I see tonight…” It’s silly and he knows it, but he’s done it as long as he can remember. “Wish I may, wish I might… have the wish I wish tonight.”
He closes his eyes behind his glasses and for a moment thrusts his wish with all his heart into the empty night.
I wish I could be strong enough to always do what’s right and good.
And when a warm breeze blows down the empty lane, Pongo tugs his lead again and the doctor opens his eyes and rises off the bench to continue home. “You’re right, Pongo… it is getting late.”