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Half-Past Twelve

Half-past twelve and still you sleep, My ten-months child, Your bedclothes tangled as seaweed, Your head caught up in the crook of elbow. Outside the wind gusts: the chimes, A frenzy of movement, the unlatched Screen door slamming with the force Of a sail jibing in crosswinds.

Grackles fill the blue outside your window With the intensity of storm clouds, Then with the next great gust unbraid, Breaking off and settling in the tops of trees.

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I would stand here your sentinel - Keep you from the winds of March, Keep you from the frowning twitch of nightmare - My hand on your fair brow until the fear passes,

Until you are like the streams of April, Running full to the bank, clear and strong.

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