Elizabeth Tate

Today my dog is a dancer
straight out of a medieval
Book of Hours, or a likeness
by Pisanello. A long dog
with a chest like a cello in
profile, or an S laid on its side.
Stepping lightly, lively, leading
me on, charming everyone.

His paws prance like a palfrey
rhythmic, elastic, his fox-face
gleeful. The leash is loose
a courtly hoop taps a tattoo
against his ribs. I'm feverish
aimless, wary of snares and
sink-holes, glad to be out but
I don't know the lie of this land

and I'm wearing the wrong shoes.
A hawk hovers overhead scratching
the same message repeatedly -
it's on a loop, they're in cahoots.
His ears twitch, as if let from the slips
I've no say in this. Today my dog
is a dancer, leading me on
far from everyone.

Elizabeth Tate

Elizabeth Tate is an artist living and working in the North-East. She has recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing and is currently working on a new collection, which combines images and poems, entitled Walking the Dog; July is one of those poems.

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July © 2008 Elizabeth Tate: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.

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