The days line up again,

like a procession that winds
back to its starting point,
the sky at this time of year 
still slow to brighten. In front 
or behind you: the same
dark, if not for the usual city
lights. Store signs, windows 
in dormitories to which students 
won't return until it's clear 
there won't be any school 
closings. A rescue helicopter 
rushes to lift blood or an organ 
to someone on a surgery table. 
No snow in the valley, no drifts.
Some ships patrol the harbors. 
Along a path where others walk, 
nothing brighter than the orange 
glow of a cigarette, the ice blue 
pings from a cell phone. But out
west, out of season, sudden grass 
fires flare and spread. People 
pack up belongings and animals,
wondering if this time 
they should go or stay. 

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