Today's poem is by Annie Gebler

Childhood is Beautiful

There are these moths. They live in that bush for the summer
for a couple of weeks, maybe for vacation.
They like us; they come back every year and we play.
They must just be glad to be a part of our front yard,
cute little moths. Of course they like being
around us. We laugh and they watch us pick flowers
and crumple them, tear each petal and smear
the leftovers on each other's clothes. Those silly kids,
they must think, lovingly, childhood is beautiful.
They really like the game; they fly from one flower to another
and with twinkletoes we sneak up, stop our breath,
and cup our hands over them. If they are lucky,
we catch them and they get to be our pets and live
in a jar filled with grass (because all moths eat grass).
Sometimes they fly there, bang against the glass,
or twirl to the bottom, putting on a show for us because
they like it when we point and smile and laugh at their little
circuses. Sometimes we forget to punch holes in
the top but they are still happy, we don't see them
gasp for air or anything like that. When they slow down we understand
they are resting, it is their naptime, and when they finally fall asleep
we carefully take them out of our jar and tuck them into a leaf bed
(like their mom would have done, except she is sleeping too).
We understand they don't say thank you, good-bye, or
nice meeting you because they are too tired from the game
and they know we'll play tomorrow, again.

Copyright © 2004 Annie Gebler All rights reserved
from The Greensboro Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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