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Birthday Poem

My earliest memory is someone else’s.

A few years later, I eat all the yellow

flowers off the clover, the first of 1000

small secrets I’ll forget. The little boys

are my neighbors and I spend each

afternoon making us a home. Soon

my legs grow so long they are other

than myself. More parts follow,

scaffolding becomes necessary.

The marching band plays songs I know

by heart; I mean that I memorize all

the words. Each time I get on a plane,

I’m someone new, until I’m so good

I don’t need to fly to transform.

When my parents are suddenly

more tired than they’ve ever been,

I take over the farm, the spoonfeeding.

One minute I’m becoming

myself, the next I’m forgetting how.

from The Keys to the JailFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2014
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Keetje Kuipers Poems

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