It's just poetry, it won't bite

The Canine Trail Memorial

07.09.10 Posted in words to linger on by

Daniel Wilcox resides on the central coast of California with his mystery-loving wife and a hyper cat named Fizzy. He writes, reads, shoots photography, and finds time to exercise. He’s an old backpacker and misses those trips. He has hiked up the tallest peak in Arizona, to the top of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevadas, and down into the bottom of the Grand Canyon on many of is South Rim trails, but now he hikes into his computer room each day in the fall of his years. He kids, of course. For more information on Daniel’s publications, visit his website. His poem here gives readers a look at an everyday experience made unusual by a particular artifact. Even walking the dog can be an exercise in observation … 

The Canine Trail Memorial

By Daniel Wilcox

Puppy pulling on his collared leash,
In the verdant high rolling hills of San Ramon,
We wind along a ribbon of blacktop,
Humans and their best friend, at a dogtrot,
The weaving trail sequestered in the intertwining valleys
Between resorts and million-more homes, below the cattle-grazing heights.

Yes we fastpace this pedigreed path as it lolls through the grass near sunset,
The corona of Sol’s glow on the coastal range cresting to the west.
We take a “paws” at a crosswalk to hug and brush
Our German Shepherd pup, “Atta boy, Shadow.”

At the juncture stands a telephone-pole stump banded with
33 canine collars in various rainbow shades and metal ornaments.
Like some modern totem, it’s a pooch memorial of the deceased barkers
Who have sniffed this trail month after month with their wealthy owners
Out for the sunset dog-pulled stroll. But as we ascend from this canine shrine
Headed into the descending spread of the shaded dusk,
I, in a “tailing” mood, lean over to my wife and whisper,
“Doggone it.”

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