A poem for the last day of August

Packing and unpacking always unearths “stuff”—stuff you forgot you had and feel happy to see again, stuff you meant to throw away, stuff you thought you’d thrown away, stuff you should have thrown away, stuff that reveals you have an inordinate amount of drinking glasses and cloth napkins.

Among the stuff I found in my recent move was a poem given to me by my friend Megan in my birthday card last year. It was a tough milestone birthday that I dreaded for a full year and a half, but this poem helped give me a wee bit of perspective:

A Lady Who Thinks She is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda’s sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then–
How old is Spring, Miranda?

Ogden Nash