From my collection, Beneath the Lion’s Paw, (FootHills Publishing, 2012):
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Faint dog bark on the folded edge
of snowy wind, lone animal out,
ruff up, nose topped with white,
eyes narrowed, lashes iced.
He roots in the turned-over garden,
ignoring the stretched and shrunken skin
of late fall fruit, roots for earth to smell
its real smell and be reassured he is where
he thinks, in his yard, and that the sly,
despicable gods have played no tricks
since his last trip out.
His coat is white as snow; he believes
this is as close to oblivion as he can get;
entranced, he is pleased but cold.
Sensing the call of ancient blood,
he runs at the black and twitching trees,
through veils of whitened breath,
enjoying the flow of legs and paws.
Fierceness rules his heart until
he hears the call from kitchen door:
“Rex!” then off he goes to acquiesce,
attentive to years of small rewards
that make him forget his truest self.
Merry! Merry! Merry!
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