Joseph Brad Kluge
from letters left unanswered
my neighbor's dog 

i don't know why 
my neighbor's dog barks 
through all my hours

whether seeking comfort 
or wrestling with some labor 
trying all the while to forget

my friends tell me  
I should complain 
to the authorities  

we surrender all our loves to 
but never nurture the love 
we purchase with a pet 

and abandon for convenience 
to shout its joy or sorrow 
at each startled cat or jogger 

hopeful then angry 
as each passing car  
leaves him behind 

not understanding 
each reminder of the pain 
we engender to ease