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Bedtime Story

 The moon lies on the river
like a drop of oil.
The children come to the banks to be healed of their wounds and bruises.
The fathers who gave them their wounds and bruises come to be healed of their rage.
The mothers grow lovely; their faces soften, the birds in their throats awake.
They all stand hand in hand and the trees around them, forever on the verge of becoming one of them, stop shuddering and speak their first word.
But that is not the beginning.
It is the end of the story, and before we come to the end, the mothers and fathers and children must find their way to the river, separately, with no one to guide them.
That is the long, pitiless part, and it will scare you.

by Lisel Mueller
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