It takes this porch to make her mythic
to herself—this square of rail and floorboard.
From here she sees the dense red clay. Beyond
the marshes, the tides commit themselves to borders.
From this she understands the meaning
of property and sightline. She understands
the well of rumbling and lets the howls gallop
up her throat at any motion from the edges,
at any shadow that, without a coin, would pass her.
"Guard Dog" is reprinted from Making the New Lamb Take (2007) by permission of Sarabande Books.