On the night I turned ten I cried—————–The whole idea of it makes me feel
I remember I slept that night—————-like I’m coming down with something,
with my arm in a glow-in-the-dark cast————————————————
———————————————–something worse than any stomach ache
and Billy Joel swept over me—-or the headaches I get from reading in bad light
or maybe it was the Chieftains————-a kind of measles of the spirit,
The music muffled the soundless welling——a mumps of the psyche,
as my brother was rocked to sleep in a——-a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.
striped corduroy blue sling———You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
—————————————————-But that is because you have forgotten
It didn’t seem fair that he was so young——the perfect simplicity of being one
while here I was on the great brink————————————————
——————————and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
the precipice———–But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
of life—————————————At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I cried———————————I could make myself invisible
for the things I didn’t know—–by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
for the loneliness of————–At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.
becoming an adult——————-But now I am mostly at the window
for the rest of time————————-watching the late afternoon light.
for the loss of turning away————-Back then it never fell so solemnly
being turned away——————–against the side of my tree house,
by a world I would have to know——————————————–
—————————and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
that girl is wiser than she knows———-as it does today,
to fear the number ten————-all the dark blue speed drained out of it.
that same nine year old still cries———————————————-
——————————–This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
inside of me———————-as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
still cries for the things—–It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
unknown————————–time to turn the first big number.
yet to come—————————It seems only yesterday I used to believe
and the precipice———————there was nothing under my skin but light.
—————————————If you cut me I could shine.
-I have yet to fall—————–But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
————————————————-I skin my knees. I bleed.
—-Amelia Pease —-Billy Collins