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by David Alpaugh

How can you be certain
at any particular moment
that you've outrun the angry
smoke that billows behind you–
laden with broken glass,
stinging dust, and bits
of incandescent steel?

We see that the moment has come–
but the crowd continues to run,
faces intent on gaining refuge
we know is already theirs.

Running along with them
a young, ponytailed woman
in bright red shirt and Levis
slows to a jog…
stops… turns…
then amazes us
by stepping back
to get a closer view.

She stands in the middle of West Street
as dozens rush by on either side
and looks up with wonder at the dragon–
safe now; trying to understand.


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