Two Poems On Turning Ten- after Billy Collins.

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