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The Ward

It was quiet, which was odd for four
but my mind was full of noise.
Hiking, I would pause,
listen if the hum of life rested too long
I'd look around the trees,
survey the sky.
The lights are artificial here.
Instinct dulls when
doors lock automatically.
I listen for the clicking deadbolt,
then, cheerful beep,
affirmation of an armed alarm.
The room looks larger empty.
Everyone's out in the yard.
Odd for four.
Maybe in their rooms.
Spaghetti sauce is on the wall.
Someone should clean
the shattered plate beneath it.
Broken glass.
If the clients get it...
That's when I heard the noiselessness,
the sound of storms or mountain lions.
Nature taught me something.
He screams as if my startled upward glance
has singed him.
Then, steps toward me,
chest out,
I cannot hear the noise.
My thoughts are quiet calculation.
Six steps to the office.
Twelve running steps between our bodies.
Ten steps, a card swipe to the outside door.
Then click, beep, lock
He tears his shirt and screams,  
then, lunges.
I think of sunlight past the heavy door.
(Ten steps, card swipe, click, beep, lock.)
And run.

29 Nov 17

(define the words in this poem)

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