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Tuesday
May182010

Poem For a 40th Birthday (1989)

Poem For a 40th Birthday

 

When I was five,

I thought that I could remember every year that I had lived with perfect clarity,

I could remember every toy I ever owned;

The people I had always known were still around me,

My mother was still young.

 

I did not understand the idea of the future,

Ten cents seemed like a lot of money,

I could say my name and address if I were lost;space

If I could rewrite my days since five,

I suspect that such a retrospective would require no great revision.

 

If I planted the same seends in a different plot of earth,

And then walked away to step into the following years,

I know that I could not always guide the wind and rain,

The seeds I planted could grow at any speed,

Or in any direction.

 

It is impossible to foresee the results of change,

Therefore I accept a

                                   real

                                                   versus

                                                                                         imagined childhood.

 

Today I can remember my last birthday,

But less clearly the days between 39 and 40,

I don't know why I remember what I remember;

Ten cents can spill out of my hand unnoticed,

My address has changed . . . I have given my wife my name.

 

I awaken today not knowing what to expect of myself,

I do not own a philosophical prospectus for this time onward;

"Ah yes . . .

But let us have a fine breakfast," I say,

To put things in perspective.

 

 

(1989)

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