At 3 a.m. the opossum comes
And aggravates the pair of chums,
The narrow-headed collies who
Raise their cry and raise their hue.
They circle all day in their pen.
And like the lesser place that men
Take to the angels, they to Lassie
Take a place less bright and classy.
Lassie would not howl disaster
Because a fat opossum passed her
In the night, or have a fit
When a house cat came to sit
Nearby and preen her moonlit tail.
But these two dunce-hounds, without fail,
When night and sleep are deep and dark
Find any stirring cause to bark.
This high-strung, inbred, nitwit pair,
Whose names I do not know or care
To learn, I’ve nicknamed for the sounds
They blabber as they make their rounds
Inside their pen. Their loving keepers
Must be the deepest of deep sleepers.
But I am one of those who wake
At 3 a.m. to ruminate.
And my insomnia coincides
With thoughts of two caninicides.
Gravel hurled upon their heads
Can persuade them to their beds,
And simply shouting from the door,
"Shut up!" will calm the creatures for
A little while, just long enough
To make once more my dream life of
The stuff that excludes dogs completely.
They know this, and when I have neatly
Tucked myself back under covers,
They yip and yap like cattle drovers,
Circling a non-existent herd.
Earlier than the early bird,
They clarion their canonical hours.
And my slumber burns and sours.
There’s nothing for it. I give in
And brood myself to sleep again.
It soothes me to imagine taking
A ball bat while they’re bellyaching
And snapping it across their noses.
A firm and velvet silence closes
Around my heart as theirs give up.
I sleep inside my furry cup.