Birthday Poems

For Violet, on Your Fourth Birthday

It’s a game of pure potential now,
To dream of what you’ll grow to be when you
Are not this tiny, darling three-year-old
(Who’s turning four today). Let’s play. To start:
Your voice is squeaky now, and yet you squeak
With oomph and gravitas enough to make
Me feel you could become an opera star
Whose aria in soprano shatters glass;
Perhaps instead that voice will help you land
A gig as an umpire in the major leagues:
“Yerrr out!” And while you are already strong
And daring like a swashbuckler sailing the seas
With skull and crossbones flapping overhead,
And your laugh is diabolical at times
And somewhat like a cartoon super-villain’s,
I know that if you’re breaking any laws,
You’d be like Robin Hood, and working toward
The greater good. But rest assured, the paths
You choose (like astronaut or janitor
Or mime or captain of a river boat)
Will never change the fact that I’m so proud of you.

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