Noise of the Day II

5 AM, Monday Morning, the end of summer.
She sits in boxers and tank top on the balcony,
smoking a long thin French cigarette, dreading it all.
 Her big black mutt lays sleeping at her feet, content.
She takes a measure of peace from his calm and love.
Today, Sophomore year begins, back to college, and noise.
 The sun rises slowly, slicing the night away, strip by bloody strip.
The strips pulling away, another one goes, closer to class time.
Time to get dressed, time to prepare her mind, time to face the world.
 She puts out the spent cigarette, gets up and goes inside to get ready.
The people and chatter and the traffic and hot and merciless sun.
But there’s somewhere she wants to be, so walks through fire and noise.
 In her dark clothes, backpack over her shoulder, hair under bandana,
she says goodbye to her dog, who whimpers after her at the door,
and walks out into a still cool morning, knowing the peace will not last.
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