I wish I had a dog to take me different
directions, my boy sighed as he trudged home
from school in his last week of being ten
& watched a headstrong golden drag its human
companion through the mud at the end of her rope.
Everybody is gone who always said
I’d no sooner learned to walk than I vanished
from Nana’s picket-fenced backyard washday,
only to be spotted hours later climbing
Illion holding fast to her spaniel’s collar.
When I repeated his words, my son countered
they sounded like a song, as if he knew
he’d handed me a line I’d grab & let
lead me back through memory to retrieve time.