Before it begins, the dogs next door (two labs, one small hound) know what’s coming, so warm their voices with short runs, quick licks of howl that overlap the voice whose boredom carries out to the frayed edges of town a warning for the testing of the Emergency Warning System. Each week, same hour, we’re asked to listen and to disregard. But when the siren’s long blue leash unrolls, it tightens the throat’s longing and makes things dream-slow. It finds the yard like a shaft of sun – a complicated unity the dogs rush in to meet in unison, their howls more in tune with this ordinary noon than the wolfish moon of their forefathers. All week I hear them cough away their song. One could think commotion made them happiest. (It’s possible.) But Saturdays I know them by their hymn—that opening in the atmosphere I step more slowly through. No emergency. Just sinking in to softer, muddier ground as though I’ve rejoined myself on the long walk I forgot I’m on where it’s always almost dark, never quite, and home is off its leash but down the hill somewhere – should hear me if I call.