Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Early Bird Dog Training

July day walking Finn number two, headstrong
pup who makes my arm twitch with fatigue, the pronged

stick I tap for stress hot incentive to him.
Ten months now, he hears every bird the same.

His heart boils, and soon his tongue lolls sidewise.
I don’t know his limits, so leash his desire’s

worst, though he bucks and huffs and whines. Heel, heel,
I bark, acolytes metering a suburb’s field

until he’s caught by a goldfinch. Is this it?—wild
canary, butterfly yellow, that flits, scolds,

seaming the beaten path with beauty’s signal.
How bold, notes from a hidden branch that trembles!

Yet I can’t find the nesting tree, nor can dog,
who, unmoved by form, points not song but log.  end

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