Early Warning


The third stair squeaks expectantly
like a mouse in labor
and whispers to the fourth step,
which passes the message silently along
to the fifth step
who never had a library voice in his life.
The sixth step sighs
and rolls her eyes
and the eighth step shakes his head disapprovingly
as the tenth step asks politely, “Pardon me, but what’s going on down there?”
and then you’re here.

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Because Russ L asked

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