I never pass up an opportunity to give a shout out to my favorite poet, and favorite poem. Recently obtained a copy of Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, a compilation of selected poetry from the former U.S. Poet Laureate.
ANOTHER REASON I DON’T KEEP
A GUN IN THE HOUSE
The neighbor’s dog will not stop barking
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on before they leave the house.
The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,
and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.
When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton
while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.