Thursday, December 14, 2006


Ten is the default number.
Ten is the wall I bump up against,
And time once again re-sets itself.

When my children are out of sight,
They are all ten years old –
As am I, where there are no mirrors.

I got married ten years ago.
In fact, both marriages
Are but a decade old.

My internal infernal clock
Never goes to noon or midnight.
It stops before there can be endings.

Ten is the wall beyond which recollection
May not go. Memories lie in heaps, none
Lackluster or dim, they are merely at the wall
of ten.

When I turned ten, I came home for good
From St. Mary’s. When I was ten my frozen life
Began to melt on the hearth at home.

I began laying the bricks then,
Erecting the wall, setting the clock,
Tuning the time to a minor key.


Every child I love is ten, even the dead
One – ageless now and safely beyond
All my spinning calculations.

Everyone I know has the capacity
For being ten. If they climb the mimosa
And grin back at you that’s a sure sign.

It is easy being ten.