Awake at 3 a.m.

for her graduation Through the crack of the door partial light seeps from the room where my daughter writes. I pause, hearing the scratch of pencil, her easy breathing beneath a single bulb. I want to say the hour is late but I wait with the forgotten house in a spell of stillness. Her blonde curls shine over cluttered papers white on the table, denim legs dangle underneath. Her pencil lead streaks shadows, contours in the dim glow that rests on her shoulders; her head gleams in the predawn rustle, hovers over edges. Outside, the stir of April taps against glass. Tomorrow from the other side of the valley the sun will blaze this second-story window into brilliant flame.

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