Outside in the drizzle of spring,
green, green is the grass –
lilacs are tiny purple fists waiting to unfold
to again welcome May –
once more trotting out its new beginning-
with sweet applause;
Inside, the window is cracked
because of the paint, and you,
at the far end of 16, stand
without a ladder, pulling plastic
glow-in-the-dark stars off of your ceiling,
cracking some, flinging them to the ground.
They have a dim glow, so
one by one I gather them, even the broken ones,
and consign them to an empty drawer.
This earth grows ever older, older,
sliding slowly toward the sun, but
each year it becomes a gangly teenager again
with ragged patches of grass waiting to be mowed,
dandelion acne spotting green fields,
saplings sprouting up in importune cracks,
robins pinning down their mates in a mad scramble,
frogs croaking and peeping in awkward turn,
barred owls rambling late into the night, looking
for someone they can’t name. Who?
But our paths are segments,
not lines or vectors, so
blue, blue is my heart, and oh!
You will not become young again –
I will not find you curled up
with your puppy under your covers,
we will not ever again make up voices
and quarrels for your stuffed toys at night,
and we will never read aloud the last few chapters
of How To Train Your Dragon –
it will always be unfinished for us.
Perhaps you are thinking of all of this
as you leave this room behind,
but I think probably not
as I watch you standing there,
peeling the last star away from the ceiling,
walking over it, without a glance back –
you will chart your course by new stars,
and you will not,
come back this way.