Childhood's End

To learn early the difference
between faith and magic is good.
You have learned it: "I thought
if only I believed and practiced
hard enough it would come..."

Those are low spirits that come
to such a call. We know them,
all of us know them.

Your mother, when her mother died,
counted letters till they equalled
her fingers. Her brother touched
doorjambs and stoveknobs. We want
all things to come fair.

So have all the world's mages;
balancing all the world has,
good and evil, one and two, bright
and dark, even and odd: numberless
they broke themselves balancing.

That wind that blows toward us all
from all our tomorrows: learn it well,
lean into it, jacket billowing
at your back, walk right into it,
knowing if it stopped you'd topple
flat on your face...


Copyright © Jim Michmerhuizen 2000