When she bounds down the steps each morning

orange-bellied robins burst upward in all directions

as her sleek black form zig-zags the yard.


Ears up, tail straight, paws searching

she sniffs the crevice where yesterday

a snake’s head emerged undetected by her

upright and shining

like an emerald-turquoise loch monster.


I wonder how she envisions

the secrets lying in that shadow

where rock erupts from soil

and the scent of reptile skin.