Hank Knows What

It happens nearly every walk.
Hank dives into woods like a deer
hurdling logs and bramble.
Then the yelps begin. One or two,
or, like today, a litany of shrieks
accompanied by popping cracks
of unseen branches breaking that
sets me running, whistling, yelling,
hatching plans for mountain lions,
mother bears, bull elk, unexpected
yucca knives or cactus patches.
I watch for his emergence up ahead
or behind, but often, I am wrong;
he is waiting on the opposite end
of my terrible anticipation, sitting calmly
on the trail, or running to me full stride,
adrenaline lit, crazy eyed, tongue
lolled, breath ragged, coat dry,
unscathed by Hank knows what.

2020

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