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Whether had become a sloped, suspended question,
for the boy with the open umbrella
and the maid with the overflowing pail.
They swung in the humidity between
rain and fine, gauging the sway of day’s pressure.
Drops tapped on the glass, but mercury’s line
stuck rigid chill to the boy’s sheltering shield
and the maid’s heavy-weighted burden.
On the hour, a mechanical call announced
further insistent winds of their rotation.
Their little wooden, weather house clung sheer
and the wall’s cliff face remained unconquered,
as each day’s shadow revolved to shifts
of yet more roped, pendulum pulls.
The suspension of caught climbs hung heavily.
Spring’s coiled warmth then unfurled tentative light,
and the two little plastic figures
balanced in mid-air, their axis no longer
the formality of a stately gavotte
stepping out to the decorum of guests.
After the rain of midnight and tempest,
the boy folded his battered protection
and the maid put down her brimful of tears.
Sun sprinkled its April bathe in sweet gusts,
refreshing altitude once flat and plain.
They had danced on the point of a pinnacle
too long .and vertigo had left them queasy.
In the steady, calm descent from thin air,
their accord now twined to rhythm and rhyme:
weathered but buoyed - poised - made in bide-time.

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