For Your Birthday

Shadow of beech-leaves, shapes and stems
of daffodils, design of summer dresses,
immaculate marking of diagrams,
our living-room, that at its leisure amasses
soft loveliness of spaces,
sure lines, the red lampshade’s rims,
and jars and cotton-reels whose uses
may freshen your hands, spin out over your arms . . .

all these, if they some thread
of art and love and need, themselves contain,
if they are shadows, shapes, the marking sewn
of us in things – in a day set aside

to be your birthday – then the day is glad,
spread with the still leaves of the cyclamen.

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