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Since 1996 Volume XXI

Taylor Graham
Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in El Dorado County, California. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review. Her latest book is What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013), about living, training and searching with her canine partners.


You sent me that poem, knowing I have
some German, some sheep, some poetry; a German
poem about sheep, Schafe. And just now
my small flock, led by Sophie the con-artist,
passes by my window nibbling
what’s left of spring grass and forbs.
She takes a little bite (ein Bisschen, like my
bisschen Deutsch) with those clever front teeth,
greens protruding from lips as quick
and fluent as fingers.
And here comes Boogie my German
Shepherd Schäferhund who has no thought
of herding sheep, but only running the landscape,
Landschaft, of our five acres.
While your poem got me thinking
about schaf’s small flock of root-letters,
Sophie my Schafe disdains roots, she goes for
the succulent leaves, the flowers,
the poetry you might say.
Poetry being a Schaffung, a creation.
The poem you sent suggests a connection between
Landwirtschaft, husbandry of land,
and the art of words.
But all this Schafe and schaffen could
put me to schlafen to sleep to dream of counting
sheep instead of language.
I’ll walk out into my morning Land-
schaft and see if a poem
like a spring-lamb dancing comes.    



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