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"Downhill Into Udaius's Ward"

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         My legs tax their downhill muscles,
         easing the uphill burn on my shins.
     My hips shift backward.
     My shoulders lean backward.
And I feel like I'm drifting backward
toward the clutches of my pursuer.
The footfalls from behind
     even faster than before.
I struggle to match their pace.
The noble headhouses of Udaius promise
         hiding places,
             safe shelter,
but at each threshold
     my hopes crash
     up against
     wooden barriers
     draped in red quarantine cloth.


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