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Fetch by Ben Banyard


At top of the path to the beach

I show him the tennis ball.


He crashes off a little way,

jerks to a rigid stop, alert, envisages


its flight ahead of him

as it bounces down the steps to shingle.


I launch it as far as I can

and he darts away, wolfing the metres


between him and his quarry.

He pounces on it, already panting.


I call to him, clap my hands,

half believing it might work this time.


After a thoughtful chew

he clutches it in his jaws,


trots off to where the waves lap,

barks muffled by the ball.


He drops it in the sea,

bobs it like a Halloween apple,


enjoys the taste of salt

before the tide catches it,


draws it away, back, then further,

beyond the limit of his courage.


---

Ben Banyard's third collection of poetry, Hi-Viz, was published by Yaffle Press in November 2021. He edits Black Nore Review and blogs at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com

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