Actually read this poem to River when he used to visit the house on the Malibu mountain I rented for a while, in the period when River brought his father up to a dinner for the three of us; and for years I wanted to read this someplace in his memory but I always got too busted up with tears and almost could never finish the entire poem, for the memory it evoked; but two nights ago I managed to get all the way through and somewhat magically it combined with an old song, and the pictures of the fleeing children made it urgent, for a poem.

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