The dog and I push through the ring
of dripping junipers
to enter the open space high on the hill
where I let him off the leash.
He vaults, snuffling, between tufts of moss;
twigs snap beneath his weight; he rolls
and rubs his jowls on the aromatic earth;
his pink tongue lolls.
I look for sticks of proper heft
to throw for him, while he sits, prim
and earnest in his love, if it is love.