Gifts from the Sea

You see how easily we fit together,
as if God’s own hand had cradled only us
and this beach town’s population were but two
and this wide bed but a child’s cradle
with room enough left over for presents.

Tomorrow I’ll buy you presents.
Pomegranates and breadsticks,
tickets round the room and back
and red, red roses like everybody buys everybody.

Everybody’s got a diamond ring
            And Sunday shoes.
Neckties and petticoats,
pistols and tennis balls.

What pleases you?
         I’d hock my watch to buy you Greece
or sell my car to bring you rickshaws from Rangoon.

All they had down at the corner
            were poppies with some lemon leaves.
They’ll have to do
           till I can bring home Union Square.

I found a twenty-dollar bill when I was ten.
I bought a cardboard circus and a fountain pen
and a jackknife because I never had one before.
My mother thought I’d stolen the money.
I bought her perfume from the dime store,
                      She believed me then.

I was rich in those days,
for a week I had everything.

I wish I’d known you then.

Living as an Airforce "nomad" most of my childhood, many of my memories stay locked inside. One tends to be lacking in childhood friends when moving around frequently.

But as a kid, the world was mine to take, and I was the king. As we grow older, life gets complicated. How I wish I'd known her then.