For just an
instant she holds him in bright
air faceted as
crystal. Last night's snow
glitters on a
winter's bed of ice.
on its slant of
dawn, amber-golden, low.
beckons as he waxes skis, checks
his topo map. A
basin ringed with hills
cornices like cloud with flecks
Now the deep
bowl whitens, fills
against shadow. Not a tree
perfect surface -
only a crack
under the silk-glide of ski
a trail that won't lead back.
She holds him
and then lets
ever-changing, the forever
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue
dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She's included in the
anthologies Villanelles (Everyman's Library, 2012) and
California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa
Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was
awarded the Robert Philips Poetry Chapbook Prize. What the Wind
Says, a collection of dog poems focusing on her canine search
partners over the past forty years, is forthcoming.