Nunc Tu Ipse

Now serenely cheerful and selfish
at home in your biped land,
able to spread a comic the right way up
before lorries make laybys of its margins,
able to be on nodding terms
with the infinite variety of the world on shelves,
the layabout animals, the book-piles, cotton-reels,
cereal packets, biscuit tin, yogurt-tub,
able to diversify, a grand floor-emperor,
or to rule at height, tycoon of the water-taps,
you chatter non-stop, exorbitantly occupy your clothes,
and settle into a box to listen to a record.
When the five-minute catastrophe goes off, the box is filled with lorries,
the comic made to obscure a teddy’s ear,
the teddy hoisted to stardom in an over-the-chair-back puppet-show,
and a new agenda discovered for the next fifty seconds.

Then I see you above and beyond your games,
and clean outside my comprehension.
Telephone wires in your head sway and play, you are on the receiving edge
of other worlds, other years. The future has strung her puppet,
lets it play idle. You are equipped, now, to be
what the years make of it – and far, far more.
Personality is what does not dance to time
but fights its choices out. Do not choose the wrong battles
but enjoy, enjoy what you are in. Make time dance to you as well.
This is Creation. You have begun your journey.
The wires relay this stunning news to me.

But I am out of it. I shall do my crosswords,
keep going in the corner, do some of the job that matters,
and my blood shall sing with your singing voice, and the sea wash over me
of the thousand games before the alphabet starts.
Somehow I am always in touch with a miracle.
Well, I can thank you for your first three years.

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