Just try to teach her
straight lines: Forward! (at a brisk
walk, her nose at my knee)
Halt! (with a snappy sit beside me) -
but she forges
at the end of the leash
to pull me past the painted lines &
out the gate & thru the
unmown grasses. There's a world
It's neither straight nor narrow.
It eludes my rules
& triggers every of her instincts.
She weaves & dashes
across my path, she trips me
on a tug to reach this particular
spot of green that looks
to me like any other.
Ah! But how different it smells
to a dog's exquisite
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poetry is included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004).