Taylor Graham

Rookie (Pasadena, CA)

Hiking Old Dog To The Alpine Lake - Poem by Taylor Graham

She takes the lead with unaccustomed
spryness, remembering this route
through sagebrush, bitterbrush,
mules-ears drying like so many summers
to a lake still blue,
sky filtered through runoff snow.

Her lungs pump noisy
on this once a year hike,
the only season
this water gathers enough sun
for an old dog's joints.
You'd never guess,
the way she chases sticks in the waves,
and we keep on throwing,
remembering her a young dog
ranging these mountains
for a hiker lost, for all the scents
of August gone.

Finally the old dog sourness
washes off
and her fetches turn
to good dog weariness.

And then we take it
a slow walk back,
holding in
so the old lady still
can take the lead. So slow,
by the time we reach the car,
she smells of nothing
but drying grasses, lupine
and sage.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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