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Set Free
by Gretchen Fletcher

I'd wake you from that sleep
of 40 years ago. If I could
I'd throw off a mother's caution
that smothered like a quilt

on a hot night. Set you free to see
the owl that sat in the yard.
But he unfolded silent feathers
and left in muffled flight

before I could decide
to lift you over crib bars,
release you
from a child's sleep

to share a moment
we could now remember
together instead of one I keep
alone in my memory.

First published: Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood (Quill and Parchment Press 2013)  

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