Caution

I hurried past three teens
just standing in the rain
and wanted to scold them:
“The overhang’s right there,
dummies.” Their laughter rang
unconscious of an audience.
Standing like mushrooms.

We all grow cautious
or catch colds, crash
cars, die on cliffs,
in war zones.

Or just shed pride in sheaves,
molt dignity in wild
public mistakes, swing
hard and splat–

the mirror a hospital bed,
old friendships a cast and traction.

Until then
or between thens,
this

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