Fifth Decade: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Huge 40th birthday thanks to Chris for sending me a poem that tells almost exactly how I feel on this numinous, quiet day.

Something I am learning lately: the things (poems, images) that vault over the words I loved so long, and inject meaning directly into the heart and mind rather than showering it on the skin.

Birthday presents from the universe: an orange birthday fireball, a full moon at the exact moment of my birth’s midnight anniversary, bluebirds everywhere like living reminders of the corny glory of good fortune, a life that could easily win Most Improved in almost any contest you’d care to enter me in.

And my party hasn’t even happened yet.

Happy birthday to me.

Here’s Chris’ poem.

Crossroads
by Joyce Sutphen
The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rain
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,
and smoke going
upward, always up.

2 responses to “Fifth Decade: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

  1. Happy, happy birthday!

    A meteor might be the coolest birthday gift ever. Nice job, universe!

  2. Nice poem. Happy (late) BD!

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