Michelle Barker

Teaching an Old Dog

Every afternoon my dog
takes me for a walk.

We begin by getting
very excited

running circles of gratitude in the hallway
for the mere idea of walking.

Once outside, she makes me practice
my lessons.

Run as fast as you can
for no reason.

Chase things you have
no hope of catching.

Forego straight lines.

Step in every puddle.

Listen.

Here, she says, here
a deer has passed.

She is patient with me,
points with her snout

urges me to get on my knees
and smell for myself

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