Taylor Graham

Rookie (Pasadena, CA)

In Her Sleep - Poem by Taylor Graham

The old dog plays bass.

We used to call it chasing rabbits,
but she’s grown
way past that. Past puppyhood,
she learned a chase
would tangle her in thornbush
with the rabbit safe on the other side
in a field we scolded her
for running.
She grew reliable, then flimsy
in the hind end, companion
we could count on
not to mess the family room
or knock vases off the ledge.
A length of linoleum by the stove,
flat on her side, her horizontal

But now the radio plays jazz.
The old dog
goes chasing rhythms,
catching at tones in her sleep
that slither past us into tangles
of sound. She catches them clear
and clean. The old hind
legs carry her, the near-blind eyes
roll back white, she keeps
the bass alive. Flat asleep
on the floor, she’s running
like we never let her run,
into fields we never saw.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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