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Dew Claws for Everybody

by Carol Hamilton

The Fremont tribe differed
in footwear from the nearby,
more successful Anazasi.
This short-span people
formed moccasins
with the hides of larger game,
kept the dew claw
from the animal’s foot,
fitted it into the sole
to gain better purchase
for climbing the canyons
of their abrupt landscape.
In one petroglyph,
a man-like creature
holds a staff,
and the space-defying
bighorn sheep cartwheel
in a circle around him.
I used a walking stick
all over those paths
and cliffs, and even here,
on flatland, my home,
I could use a dew claw
to keep me steady.
There may be treacherous edges
to any spot on this earth.




Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in Paper Street Jourrnal, Cold Mountain Review, Common Ground, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag. Sacred Cow. U.S.1 Worksheet, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Abbey, 805, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Poem, Third Wednesday, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, and others. She has published 17 books, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from the Visual Arts Cooperative Press in Chicago. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize.