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A man calls out in a nightmare,
imploring those who have caused pain
to face him. His pleading sounds clear,
his fear moving through grim air
like a fleeing child.

He wakens his husband,
shaken by groans that to him
are unshaped words,
guttural and scared.

In a few hours their child
will find her way through
the remaining dark. The men
will hold themselves
one more time and then her
as birds gather outside,
calling to each other as the first
shades of light break through,
and windows are opened,
and the scent of night fades.

By Rüdiger Rückmann
Written on 6 March 2017