the neighbors
with the new puppy
have apparently
gone back
to some semblance
of normal
the little girl
left early
with her school supplies
her parents
slipped into their cars
while i
sipped coffee
and waited
for the sun

they have
locked the puppy up
i can tell
by the high pitched
squeaky yowls
every ten seconds
as the quiet
of the predawn
is scraped away
down a chalkboard

it’s been
a half an hour
of screaming
a kitten
would have accepted
the ignoble fate
knowing it would
get the last laugh
but not this puppy
so betrayed
by the people it loves
feeling abandoned
to this small
new hell
for someone
to free it

at least your loved,
but loved,
silly mongrel

some of us
are free
to sniff
to run
to piss on the ground
letting the world know
this corner
is ours

but at the end
of the day
there is nothing
to greet us
no belly rubs
no ear scratches
just a bigger cage
and loneliness.

as the sky lightens
a photon laced
illuminating the dark
the puppy quiets down
this new reality
after such a stink
and shoulders slumped
i find myself
doing the same
as the birds call out
the puppy sleeps
the fool tiredly
the day is just
a series of cages
a game of waiting
a life of pennance

i am no better than
the dog
just less likely
to be needed

to be loved

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