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Into the Gray

Back when I was thirteen,
rainbows held a peculiar power.
Spring midnights were only for awakening.
I called, and got an answer, every time,
back when I was thirteen.

Back when I was fourteen,
the summer twilights went on forever.
Basketballs curved through eternity before hitting the rim.
Miracles happened every hour, with no fanfare,
back when I was fourteen.

Back when I was fifteen,
the woodsmoke curled against the blue fall sky.
The yellow leaves fell endlessly in slow, hypnotic spirals.
Magic swirled soundlessly in an ordinary, perfect way,
back when I was fifteen.

Back when I was sixteen,
fires coiled all the power of the universe.
The snow fell in neat, slanted lines, stitching the winter grayness.
I found friends in the spaces in between,
back when I was sixteen.

Back when I was seventeen,
I closed the door, clapped the lock shut.
The ordinary ceased to be charged with immensity.
I found other, duller worlds,
And seventeen is with me, still.


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