Gabriel Fried

Guard Dog

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.