The New Yorker 

July 10&17, 2017

Price $8.99

“Off the Leash” 

by Mark Ulriksen

on a sunny summer day 

in the 

central park playground 

in manhattan

a black poodle 

wears jeans 

a tight red shirt 

white sandals 

gold hoop earrings 

a silver star choker 


with coffee cup 

held on her crossed knees converses 

with a chocolate lab 

in a spiked collar

denim vest 

black skirt 

and cowboy boots balancing her own coffee on crossed legs 

have they been to the coffee shop together 

or is this a coincidence? 

a black and tan dachshund mother in the background 

wearing a purple shirt jeans and sneakers 

and carrying a white bag helps her dachshund son down the steps 

into the park 

where the three swings 

in the background 

are already full 

of sky touchers 

a small hound sits crisscross applesauce smiling and blowing bubbles 

a Boston terrier 

awaits his turn 

atop the spiral slide

as an airedale 

finishes her descent 

a bull terrier wheeeeeees on the tire swing 

a small beagle 

tosses a beach ball

a corgi mix

prepares to




the steps 

on his bike 

a chocolate lab puppy 

hardly crawling age 

chews a stick 

and another crawler 

a black poodle 

creeps up to join the fun

oh, the unleashed freedom 

leave it to the dogs

                          to get it right 

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