They thought I should always be beautiful
and unshod, unpredictable as myth.
No, they loved predictability.
The coupleting of rhymes, lines measured
by pulse and breath-pause. Poetry
on the scale of humans
gape-mouthed at the passing of exotic
birds or angels.
If I missed a beat, they’d gasp
and look away, embarrassed. When I molted,
they’d point and snicker.
I got tired of their blue-sky fancies,
how they ran inside when storm-clouds snorted,
how they resisted lightning’s larger view.
Did they want me to pasture with geldings
and mares, fatten on sweet timothy,
my wings grow vestigial
as those of humans
in their thoughts of the divine.
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue
dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in
International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York
Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and
elsewhere, and she's included in the anthology, California
Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara
University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas
Review Press, 2006) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry
Chapbook Prize. Her latest is Among Neighbors (Rattlesnake