The Last Trick by Eric Lochridge

The Last Trick | Eric Lochridge


After he learned the last trick
I let my dog go. I set him free.

Out on the trail around the lake,
we were alone.

I folded the leash into my pocket.
I unclasped his collar, telling him

I have taught you all you need to know. 
A grosbeak skittered across the path,

but my dog was not distracted. 
His eyes shone with new understanding.

Untethered, we finished the walk 
together. When we got home, 

I set my chin on his knee
while he watched TV. 

Eric Lochridge (he/him) is an MFA candidate in the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. He is the author of My Breath Floats Away From Me (FutureCycle Press, 2022) and three chapbooks. His poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, UCity Review, Okay Donkey, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Kissing Dynamite among others. Find him on Twitter @ericedits. His website is at