From a line by Maxine Kumin

And life was bleak and sweet and you

conjured yourself up inside me, a
something that began to be
and which I imagine now
still being, a grownup, much
older than I was at the time.
There you are now,
tall one, head full of curls,
turning in the doorway to smile at me.
I imagine you, all these years later,
having grown up without me
in that faraway parallel world.
This would be your birthday, and
I send my love to you
over the bridgeable divide:
You drew yourself together
from a blue wool blanket on a narrow bed,
from Neil Young on a tape player,
from a stack of books on a wooden desk,
from a red maple leaf ironed between wax paper,
from a stuffed dog worn thin with age,
secret zippered pocket in its soft belly.


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