For a Birthday by Jane Cooper

Something is dragging me backward
to my fifth year
when I began my quarrel with God.

I step into the morning
after the first frost–

The beeches are radiant,
shaking their bones clothed in honey,
shivering in delicious fear.

If only we too turned golden
at the first stroke of cold.

I shall walk by the river in the sun,
studying transparency
and the book of impersonal love.

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