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Taylor, a mongrel

Starry-eyed sleeve-tugger,
Crotch-sniffer, bottom-butter,
Player of chicken
With the postmanís van, he is
A rubber dog with springs
For legs, whose paws reach almost
Shoulder-height and yet his hug
(Despite his alpha-male pretentions)
Is as courteous and timely
As his supper-time petitions.

Calmest of hearth-companions,
A solo violin draws
From him a joyful
Exaggerated fanfare
Of a howl, quite different
From the yodel that he aims
At the hillside where, though bristling
Like a wolf, he still responds
To the summoning whistle, a white
Blur bursting from the dark.


by Damaris West

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