A fire engine passes, striking a long, noisy match down the sleeping street, dwindling red into distance. Sleepers pick up parts of scattered dreams. Night comes together again. On a moonlit fencepost outside my window, a traffic-wise tomcat washes his paws one after another, putting his wait-and-see time to good purpose, until something whispers safe, flashes no harm, and he leaps down and disappears into the 3 o'clock darkness. I turn out nightlights of my lamp and mind (but keep a listening-thread - link with the world), last-wishing for casual clang of fire truck returning, signing the air with news of a false alarm.

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