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Maryfrances Wagner: After Adopting Sylvie

A north wind outsings summer, shocks

leaves into freefall, blackens herbs,

reminds our rescued dog that once

she made her way on ditch water, 

careless mice, and spilled trash;

dug leaf beds deep enough that wind 

and rain and people didn’t find her.  


Only her collapse made it possible 

to loop a leash, shoot her with antibiotics, 

label her unadoptable, and pass her 

from shelter to shelter, far away 

from the family that left her 

on a country road, where they hoped

someone would take her home. 


Today, after a woods walk, Sylvie zooms 

the yard, a breath away from snagging 

the chipmunk who stumbled out from 

under a brick and flashed across the yard. 

She’s a hackle and haste hunter, but the chipmunk 

dives into a hole.  We call her, but she stares 

into the wind, feral Sylvie back on the road.  


Copyright 2022 Maryfrances Wagner

Maryfrances Wagner is the Poet Laureate of Missouri. Her collections of poetry include The Immigrants’ New Camera (Spartan Press, 2018).

Walnut Woods (Missouri State Parks)

3 comments on “Maryfrances Wagner: After Adopting Sylvie

  1. loranneke
    March 31, 2022

    Such a touching and compelling poem — thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea Hollander
    March 30, 2022

    A lovely tribute!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2022 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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