What could be at nineteen the case
is not, because of a haze

in it, qualities
like ghosts, to be born

yet certain outlines
of moving moved, gorgeous figures

nothing mysterious, almost funny
as the floating globe, “My Life in Art”

of the loving charade
and laughing love

who move us
with their familiar

too familiar, gestures
to begin

what could be at nineteen the case
is not

because already a life
has crossed

the immensity of childhood
and includes it still

raging on the headland
in the glow of houses

everywhere around the harbour
and the haze of smoke

it could be evening
what could be at nineteen is

it could be the warm iridescence
in the evening sky

of better times remembered
than to come

but is not
because of all the promises

love letters
in the glow of a climbing sun

plumes of spray
from the crashing waves below

and light and warmth as the houses
open to the morning air

You bring before you
a mantle of bright haze

suffusing all it touches
touching all of us

to see in it vague and glowing figures
even in the day

qualities of movement, of memory
and life to come

What could be at nineteen the case
is this

to bring to life the world
you already carry

in your orbit
what could be

[on the occasion
of her birthday,

23 January 2011]