01.24.96

Trespass gentle in to thirty
who yesterday at three
flitted timid as a tern
up Atlantic rocks
to pick a vacant shell,
an idle bone, the winter wood.

At seven you commanded toads
to fly and coaxed old dogs
to dress for tea, sweet,
like Alice, springing free
and bolting resolute down
rabbit holes of fancy.

At ten you haunted rooms
to read aloud, an orange scarf
draped about thin shoulders,
pale hands touching
cool white walls; tall doors opening,
closing quietly on summer mysteries.

At twelve you fell shouting
with maple leaves, quick
to right your self,
to scoop a wealth of gold
and spin a new direction
in the autumn wind.

Learning and discarding,
your pilgrimage begun, while time
devours your seasons in a chilling rime,
steals past moments done
and, artless, lures you on to thirty-one.

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