Though it probably makes me a bad dog mother
as soon as our feet touch sand, I release her
and she is gone
over the wet where the waves pull back—
paw prints bloom on scalloped glass.

When the ocean finds her twitching nose
sending it wildly scanning like radar
she is overtaken by some animal god
and she is lost, or found
in a shimmer of birds
her small black body far into the earth
she runs and runs with a high, hoarse bark
into breakers lit gold with the lowering sun
wet fur flying around her like sparks.

She becomes a speck
at the limit of my sight
a tiny, gliding dot against sky.
I lumber behind on heavy legs,
breathe deep the animal body in flight.

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