Thanks, Pete. I never have any expectation that regular readers will leave comments — in part because I am often too tired and brain-dead to comment on more than a small fraction of the blogs I read — but I really appreciate hearing how well this poem does what I had hoped it would do. I had a pretty good draft written last night before I went to bed, but the ending didn’t tread any new ground for me, so I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. A second night in a row of scarey dreams gave me the idea (in the shower) for a completely new second half of the poem.