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Night and the sound of distant transport

as troop trains pulled out from the rail yard.
He looked up from the harpsichord,
still playing, and glanced at her


almost as if he were peering into a mirror
filled with his own youthful features,
knowing how they conveyed his sadness
more beautifully and seductively with every note.

Then suddenly everything blurred.
She stood wearily at the bay window
and felt only the pounding of her heart.

His phrase resolved. The wind outside blew cold.
And strange and alien on the mirrored table
stood the death’s-head on his black-plumed helmet.