Territorial Moments in Time

The hours before dawn
are as much a territory
as moments in time
Alone in a darkened world
listening to sounds the
morning shares with me
and I alone
A rustle of a small creature
settling more comfortably
in its bed beneath frozen branches
within a pine-straw burrow
The creak of ice-burdened limbs
high in the loblolly pines
The crack of ice breaking loose
to land on frozen deck
like an echo of a rifle shot
from many years ago
The pecking of small pellets of
sleet upon my glazed blue
tin roof with dragon's teeth
icicles hanging above my head
This is my territory
and my hours
before the

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