Taylor Graham, "Monday on the Lake"



Our jon boat rips the fragile seam
between water
and breathable air, moves on.

Underneath, they say a boy
explores the contours of lake-bottom.

At the bow, my dog inhales
the breeze, sifts it
for human scent. I watch her posture—

feet planted, head high, intent.
Our mission is simple

but, even to my dog,
find the spot where a child is hiding
in the deeps, so divers
can bring him back to shore.

Sun sparkles on surface
tension, the long wake
behind us.


Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in Iowa Review, New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book, The Downstairs Dance Floor, was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her latest collection is What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013).