When I was young, the moon spoke in riddles
and the stars rhymed. I was a new toy
waiting for my owner to pick me up.
When I was young, I ran the day to its knees.
There were trees to swing on, crickets for capture.
I was narrowly sweet, infinitely cruel,
tongued in honey and coddled in milk,
sunburned and silvery and scabbed like a colt.
And the world was already old.
And I was older than I am today.
from On the Bus with Rosa Parks (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., © 1999 by Rita Dove). All rights reserved. Copying to other websites or any kind of reprint is a violation of international copyright laws and strictly forbidden.