Just Before

Have you ever stayed awake to see the magic sight
Of clock hands ticking onwards, progressing to midnight –
And felt the special shiver as the witching hour passed
Through the gentle realm of drowsy, not the first thought nor the last
As the hands proceed forever to the time of twelve o’ one
From the fading of the moon to the breaking of the sun
Rising above the trees at the hour of six o’ clock
When awakening begins with the kitten’s gentle stalk
The always quiet mew for breakfast to be fed;
Awaking with a grumble, with a tumble out of bed
A steady, slow descent down wooden stairs well worn
To the welcoming of the dog’s bark, first thing in the morn
Running shoes and running shorts and jogging out the door
With no exact idea what it is you’re running for
Down the street, around the bend, past the silver lake
Breathing in and out again, just for breathing’s sake
Returning to the house, with no plans for the day
But to weave a strand of daisies; celebrating May
Perhaps a little picnic, down by the cherry tree
Of peanut butter sandwiches, a thermos of green tea
Contemplating the sunset across the river bank
The weeping willow will look on, its tresses still and lank
Back in bed with hair in braids and eyes shut almost tight
Listening to familiar sounds of just before midnight





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