Skip to content

The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Stan’s Birthday

Becoming ninety is much like
becoming six.
I look at the invitation
to a charming birthday.
Stan is on the card
with his six year old face,
squinting as if the sun were
in his eyes.
As if he were looking
into the life before him.

He is asking me to come
and play on his ninetieth birthday.
Bring a pail of sand to build a house.
A ball that will bounce six feet high.
A piece of candy in a bag.
He is ready to face life again.
To find out what he knows.
What filled up his heart,
and how many dreams
will run a race with him.
Enough for today
and a little for tomorrow.

Being ninety, his face is saying,
is like being six.
His face has no scowl,
no lines of tragedy,
no resentment
at feeling the years
crawl under his blanket.
A happy, beautiful child,
who invites me to his party,
and honors me
as one of the kids
he wants to play with.

Published inIndex of all Poems