“Object Lesson in Over-Attachment” by Hayden Saunier

Hayden Saunier


That’s me. I’m like my dog.
My full-bred mutt this bright cold day

sharp black against fresh snow,
nose down, hyena hunched,
ruff high and full out following

the scent of fox-fox-fox
her dash and gallop frantic

for the musky funk of clever
packed like liquid copper
into black-tipped fur,

fox-fox-fox-fox, whiff after whiff
hard on the track, losing it,

finding it, losing it, doubling back,
disfiguring with desperate
want and fat footpads

the perfect delicate prints
filled to the brim with deliciousness,

my dog and me, how thoroughly
we muck clean trails
with our own needy stink.

from Rattle #63, Spring 2019


Hayden Saunier: “I live on a farm and daily walks with my dog are an unending source of education. This poem came after fresh snow when a fox was trackable—until we showed up. I saw myself so clearly in my dog’s desperation to find the scent again. How often I’ve ruined a poem by frantically working it to death. Luckily, I don’t think poems are ever lost, they just find other, better makers. They’re smart that way, like foxes.” (web)

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