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Night Poem

 There is nothing to be afraid of,
it is only the wind
changing to the east, it is only
your father the thunder
your mother the rain

In this country of water
with its beige moon damp as a mushroom,
its drowned stumps and long birds
that swim, where the moss grows
on all sides of the trees
and your shadow is not your shadow
but your reflection,

your true parents disappear
when the curtain covers your door.
We are the others, the ones from under the lake who stand silently beside your bed with our heads of darkness.
We have come to cover you with red wool, with our tears and distant whispers.
You rock in the rain's arms, the chilly ark of your sleep, while we wait, your night father and mother, with our cold hands and dead flashlight, knowing we are only the wavering shadows thrown by one candle, in this echo you will hear twenty years later.

by Margaret Atwood
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