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This Hound
Poem

for Creek

Wherever scent blows, this hound goes.
Flop-eared mutt, three times snake bit,
Bound by the black wet leather of his nose.

He trots the trail happily, lapping the green
hills over & back again. O! to be
this dog, pissing & crapping, drinking

in the trough of wind—coyote scat,
dense fur snagged on outcrop rock,
pine duff, the frag & slough

of opossum skin, the bear’s
bleached bones, musky underneath
of river stone—

the swoon of smells his canine art,
rotting offal the pleasure of his days.
Unlike me, he loves

this stinking world.
With all his wagging heart
he barks rough praise.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 77: Spring 2014

Thumbnail by Kerry Gantt

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