In a dream my teenage daughter said,
When I am old. I startled awake
to think of my child as an old woman,
who has always been exactly
who she is, never who she may be
given the great privilege of living long.
She stressed the first word she said–
When I am old–as if
and the only unknown variable,
the time. I loathe the poem
of self-pity. If I were you,
I wouldn’t have read this far
before stopping and finding something
that didn’t draw your gaze
into the navel of some sniveling poet.
Some dreams are universal.
Some ages are not.
The curtain goes up every day
if you’re lucky. Shine your shoes.
Fluff your crinoline. Prepare to
awaken into the dream of When.
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