Through the night

We have made it through the night, the high purple clouds whitening over the mountain, the trees dropping leaves on the rosy cattails of the Great Swamp, the deer crossing this road in the time between headlights to curl safely in their nests - even that black dog nosing the dirt in the gutter by the gas station until his master, hose in hand, calls him home to the pumps, where tailpipes exhale new clouds to greet the sun;

even the crossing-guard who waves at every car, his cheeks reddening in the cold, and the two children who cross here every morning, the younger one holding the older's hand -

we have made it through the night, each creature according to its kind moving from darkness into morning one more time.

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