Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the smallest tea party you've ever attended

With a three-year-old Alice, life is juxtaposition.

Tiny little tea cups and tiny little tables nestled up against bigger-than-life emotion, a face filled with joy that can eclipse the sun.

And this, for April's poetry month:

On Turning Ten

-Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel

like I'm coming down with something,

something worse than any stomach ache

or headaches I get reading in a bad light---

a kind of measles of the spirit,

a mumps of the psyche,

a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,

but that is because you have forgotten

the perfect simplicity of being one

and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.

But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.

At four I was an Arabian wizard.

I could make myself invisible

by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.

At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window

watching the late afternoon light.

Back then it never fell so solemnly

against the side of my tree house,

and my bicycle never leaned against the garage

as it does today,

all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,

as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.

It is time to say goodbye to my imaginary friends,

time to turn the first big number.

It's only yesterday I used to believe

there was nothing under my skin but light.

If you cut me I would shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,

I skin my knees. I bleed.


serenity now said...

Love this poem! And I share Alice's joy over the teeny-tiny tea party. If only my fingers were smaller . . .

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Love that poem too!

I want to come to Alice's tea party. But I'd have to bring my girls and THAT could get crazy.

Alicia said...

I think I would love this poem, except that I will be the mother of a 10-year-old in 10 days, so it just makes me really sad. :(