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Outside the building During gray showers I am entertaining a cigarette Underneath my umbrella. Nearby, a mother folds her child Into her jacket Like a newspaper being protected From the rain. For me, It is just a break from the office. For them, It is a perilous journey to the car. The boy giggles into her ribs And it is almost as if he is experiencing Memories of the womb. And it is almost as if She is returning him to it. He emerges again Just before jumping into the car. She dusts droplets off his windbreaker Then scurries into the driver’s seat. I’ve reached the end of my cigarette by now. I flick the butt into the coursing water on the curb, Shake my umbrella, And quietly return to my desk, No one ever knowing that—for a moment— I witnessed the most important mission in the world.

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