On Turning Ten by Billy Collins
The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in 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 good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

happy birthday eliot, you'll always shine.


Blogger ke said...

eliot is everyone's baby. now he is ten. wow.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Liza B. Gonzalez said...

happy birthday to your eliot. my son also turned 10 this month. [sidebar] i get lost in your photography. they are true moments suspended in time. yet, they come alive on the screen. kudos!

6:36 AM  
Anonymous sewa elf said...

Nice article, thanks for sharing.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

wow that light!

4:37 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

wow that light!

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is missed. I check in regularly, with hope.

I understand how life moves one away from posting, so this is not a nudge, in any way, to write.

It's just a, WOW, I love your writing.

You have archives--fortunately, and good writing always always stands well for multiple readings.

I do hope you and the family are doing well. I hope those you are surrounded with know what a talent you are and appreciate it.


4:21 PM  

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