And now we are eight…

Two neat, hard-won fours,
Lying side-by-side.
One: A journey of commitment, joy,
innocence exploded
into grief, sorrow,
and, ultimately,

The other: A miracle
of making and loving,
(floundering and mistaking)
realizing and raising
two astonishing human beings.
(Yes.  We made them.)

The year I realized there couldn’t possibly
be a Santa Claus,
but was wise enough to understand that
important magic
could be hidden in the crevices
of half-truths.

Eight was making the bed just right,
Riding my bike to the 7-11 for a candy bar
with the wind in my hair.

I could still be anything I wanted to be.

And now, we are eight.
Except we are not just eight,
We are also twenty-eight,
And I am standing awkwardly
On the yard at our middle school,
And you are coming over to talk to me.

Because your friend thinks I’m cute.
Because you don’t know any better.
Because you are brave.

We are four and four.
We are eight.

And we can still be anything we want to be.