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A morning without work is a morning to breathe, to watch the rain clear

and walk inside the passing voices of strangers, a dog's barking, students

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with their bouncing knapsacks of books, baseball hats worn backwards, as

I walk headed toward nowhere important, which is, of course, the most

important place of all - the trees dazzling with light, the dog laps a

puddle reflecting the sky, drinking the shimmer, his belly a puddle of

sky, and my feet beginning to glide down the block, children skipping rope

on the sidewalk, hip-hopping to hopscotch calls and double-dutch dance

steps, scrawling their names in wet chalk running colors like a clown's

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extravagant tears - the minor miracle of my job, the lives who give me

the joy of living, this gathering and giving of details: a woman's perfume:

lilacs and lemons, the breath of a baby's hair.

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