Birthday Poems

For Violet, on Your Fifth Birthday

Four went out like a lion, breaking your arm
In the process, leaving me hoping for a year
Of lambs. I am so proud of how you coped
With all your pain and never lost your smile
Or sense of humor, you little cherub. I have
No doubt at all you handled every aspect
In a better way than I did, girl,
And I was merely watching. Now
Our whirlwind winter’s passed and springtime sun
Has settled over Portland. Birdsong fills
Our ears, and tulips bloom in every yard.
And you have left behind your “toddler years”
For good now; all that’s gone in a blink of our eyes,
A blink that calendars can somehow say
Was five long years, but felt like nothing more
Than seconds as you’ve laughed and played with us.
The toddler’s gone and left us with someone
Who’s tiny but sophisticated, wild
But wise, rambunctious, joyful. And to that
I say: this change is great; high five, little bird.


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