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Rainy morning following a rainy night

and the little creek where my young sons

played recklessly rubber rafting after

a storm, shooting under the street

to come out on the other side

now rushes by without them.

In the woods lately my dogs

have been troubling the rotting

carcass of a snapping turtle caught

in the roots of a creek-bound tree.

I hope this steady rain has

whooshed it on downstream

making one less spot for me to avoid

out there where creatures lay just

as they’ve fallen

without ceremony

or marker.

For three weeks now in those woods

a cross, flowers and candles

have stood guard over the memory

of a young girl younger by far

than all my sons who seems

to have flung her life away

from atop the bluff

all her hope somehow

fallen to none.

And just that morning I

anticipating the return home

of my two far-flung sons

had wandered with my dogs

in our carefree way

those very woods

where that girl sought

solace by choosing

an end to the only thing

we ever truly own.

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